Friend or foe? Right-wing populism and the popular press in Britain and the Netherlands
AbstractThe popular press is supposed to display more sympathy for populist parties. This article investigates whether popular newspapers have a stronger tendency than serious newspapers to share the anti-establishment position of populist parties. It also tests the assumption that populist parties and the popular press share a tendency to personalize politics. The popular press in Britain and in the Netherlands are compared. The focus is on the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) and the Dutch newspaper the Telegraaf, and the British National Party (BNP) and The Sun. The analysis shows that the popular newspapers do not have an anti-elite bias. The Telegraaf and The Sun are overall even more oriented towards elitist perspectives than the quality press. The personalization thesis is not confirmed either. The results throw into doubt whether there is a single tabloid-quality spectrum based on subject matter or political orientation: subject matter and political orientation should not be conflated with differences in style.