Media Sources Shared and Networking on Facebook. A Comparative Perspective


Andrej Školkay – Adina Marincea

Studia Politica Slovaca, 2021, vol.  14, no. 2-3, p. 147-165
Language: English

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Populist leaders tend to be more popular and more followed than their parties or movements. Exceptions, like Igor Matovič, or Jaroslaw Kaczynski, confirm the rule. The major differences in party versus leader ́s popularity („likes“) could be found for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Matteo Salvini, Alexis Tsipras and their respective parties. These three leaders were clearly FB stars (with caveat that Tsipras was actually not populist in his communication) and their parties seemed to be much less relevant for those who used FB. The most negative significant divergence in popularity on FB between a party and a party leader was noticed in the case of PiS and Jaroslaw Kaczyński. Kaczyński ́s FB page could be called as a niche phenomenon in Polish political communication. Also, Kaczyński was the least frequent actual user of FB among party leaders as well as the leader with the lowest popularity („likes“ in absolute and relative numbers) among political leaders in our sample among FB users. Similarly, FB seemed to be a rather irrelevant tool for PiS considering its FB popularity, although PiS actually communicated quite actively on this platform. While populists tend to be associated with alternative, highly biased, radical or conspiratorial media sources, the analyses in the national case studies showed that these types of sources were exceptions rather than the norm in almost all cases. The most often shared sources were digital sources or social networks. The least often shared were radio or TV channels. The rather ambiguous ideology promoted by Luigi di Maio and Boris Kollár was also reflected in their preferences for ideologically diverse media sources.

Facebook, Populism, Media, Network Analysis, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, UK

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