The Populist Dimension of Mediated Discourses About Corruption in Romania
Keywords:corruption, populist political communication, Romania, content analysis, Facebook
Understanding populism as a communication strategy (Aalberg et al. 2017) that is based on both messages and styles (Engesser et. al., 2017), the present research investigates the populist elements of political discourses articulating the subject of “corruption” in the context of the attempts to change the anti-corruption legislation by the Romanian government in 2017–2018. Based on audience preferences and on the density of political communication conducted by both political and media actors, the study conducted content analysis articles from three major Romanian TV-related news portals during February 2017 and May 1 – June 5, 2018 (N=548). In addition, computer-assisted content analysis was performed on social media posts of political parties (N=875) and the posts of their leaders (N=540). The research not only identified elements of populist political communication both in the content and the style of corruption-discourses but also reflected the polarization of the Romanian media system.
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