ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Can COVID-19 serve as a tool to target the EU? A comparative analysis of Spanish and Hungarian media discourses

European Union
Media
Populism
Euroscepticism
Sonia Boulos
Universidad Nebrija
Gyorgy Lengyel
Corvinus University of Budapest
Ana Pérez-Escoda
University Antonio de Nebrija
Lilla Toth
Corvinus University of Budapest
Sonia Boulos
Universidad Nebrija
Gyorgy Lengyel
Corvinus University of Budapest
Ana Pérez-Escoda
University Antonio de Nebrija
Lilla Toth
Corvinus University of Budapest

Abstract

The discursive construction of a populist divide between ‘real’ or ‘good’ people and the ‘suspicious others’ is intimately tied to the spread of disinformation. Such an arrangement erodes the public trust in public institutions, including the media itself, and poses a threat to democratic values and political processes. Accordingly, this paper identifies and examines populist media discourses in Spain and Hungary between July 2021 and February 2022 in relation to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sample covers 6 Spanish online media outlets and 6 Hungarian media outlets. It explores the extent to which the accompanying discourses have been utilized against European institutions and their legitimacy, and against the European integration project in its entirety. The paper is also concerned with the role of identity and pragmatic factors in the construction of populist discourses in both countries, as well as the contribution of structural factors, such as deep polarization of the media and government control of the media, to help with their dissemination.