Challenging Journalistic Authority

By Tine Ustad Figenschou and Karoline Ihlebæk

Over the last decade, a network of far-right alternative online media has emerged globally.

At the same time, legacy news media have suffered a decline in trust and revenues. In this context, the present article analyses how journalistic authority is questioned and challenged in far-right alternative media, highlighting how these websites claim authority as media critics.

The study rests on a qualitative analysis of 600 news articles published on far-right alternative online sites containing evaluations of legacy news media or journalists; it identifies five different positions of authority employed by far-right media critics, constituted around particular forms of knowledge:

  • the insider position (knowledge of the professional journalistic field);
  • the expert position (factual legitimacy built on statistics and facts);
  • the victim position (experiential legitimacy as media victim);
  • the citizen position (democratic legitimacy/representing the people) and
  • the activist position (street legitimacy through confrontation and active resistance).

Published Sep. 14, 2018 9:11 AM - Last modified Sep. 14, 2018 9:11 AM