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).