Analysing immigration critical alternative media in Sweden – challenges, insights and lessons learned

Kristoffer Holt presents his research on immigration critical alternative media in Sweden .

Characteristic of many movements that tend to be placed to the right of the mainstream centre-right, is a widespread skepticism towards mainstream media. The message is that mainstream media, seen as an integrated part of the political system, conceal or distort information that does not fit the “politically correct” agenda and/or that media discourse is constrained due to taboos upheld by journalists.

Media channels (especially online participatory media) used by these movements (in Sweden, often called “alternative media” by its proponents and in France, often called “Réinformation media”) need to be analysed in the light of their position as a self-perceived corrective of traditional mainstream media.

These media present alternative interpretations of political and social events and try to influence public opinion according to an agenda that is mainly critical of immigration politics and the perception of an imminent threat of islamization of European countries – although main focus and level of “anti-systemness” (Cappoccia, 2002) varies greatly between different actors.

Kristoffer Holt has studied Swedish immigration critical alternative media with emphasis on their critique and distrust in mainstream media, understandings of public immigration debates, self-perception and editorial projects. Holt is a Docent in Media and Communication at the Dept. of Media and Journalism, Linnæus University, Kalmar/Växjö, Sweden.

He is currently studying how Pegida uses social media in various European contexts, the history of ideas behind contemporary media skepticism, and the notion of “anti-systemness”  in relation to the alternative/traditional media dichotomy and how it affects public discourse.

Published Jan. 12, 2017 12:13 PM