- The evolution of a media image: newspaper attention to the Flemish far right 1987-2004
- Acta Politica
- Volume | Issue number
- 47 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
This article investigates changes in attention to the far right in Flemish newspapers. Not only the volume of attention will be analysed but especially how newspapers pay attention to the far right, focusing on the portrayal of far-right actors (substantial attention), and on favourable and unfavourable attributions of third parties in the news texts (support attention). For the content analysis, 2356 articles from three newspapers are investigated. The Flemish far right (Vlaams Blok) is unique because of its uninterrupted electoral growth between 1987 and 2004. Flemish newspapers still portray the far right as a controversial outsider. Such an image is constructed in the 1980s by focusing on a limited set of controversial characteristics of the far right. Even though the far right became the largest Flemish opposition party in the Belgian parliament and although media attention became more nuanced over the years, this media image was not replaced with another media image: the controversial outsider image remained dominant in the coverage between 1987 and 2004.
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