Media and Populism in Central Europe: Revisiting the Case of the Czech Republic
(Média a populismus ve střední Evropě: příklad České republiky)
Politické vedy, Volume 23, Number 4/2020, pages 65-86
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
Josef Smolík – Vladimir Đorđević. 2020. Media and Populism in CentralEurope: Revisiting the Case of the Czech Republic. In Politické Vedy. [online]. Vol. 23, No. 4, 2020. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 65-86. Available at: DOI: https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2020.23.4.65-86
There has been relatively little research on the topic of media and populism in the Czech Republic so far, which is in general indicative of the state of the respective scholarship on Central Europe. This part of Europe has in recent years seen a sharp rise of populism, with the current Prime Minister of the Czech Republic heading a government where his populist party wields overwhelming influence. To assess the link between our study of the online media and populism that has so far been left largely unaddressed in academic scholarship, we have analysed the period between January 2018 and March 2020 and inspected how the said media framed and discussed populism in this timeframe. By applying a theoretical and methodological framework based on a three-fold analytical lens, we have approached and examined the issue at hand by, first of all, addressing populism by the online media, then by treating populism through the online media, and, last of all, tackling populism in the form of the so-called citizen journalism. This analysis has allowed us to conclude that populism by the media, chiefly in the form of criticism of the elites, was the most visible in the said period, while, at the same time, only a handful of the media in question engaged in supporting populist platforms and ideas, with likewise and relatively marginal space being dedicated to populist citizen journalism as well.
Key words: Populism, Media, Central Europe, Czech Republic, Democracy.