Boundary Work: Intermedia Agenda-Setting Between Right-Wing Alternative Media and Professional Journalism
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonJournalism Studies. 2020, 21 (6), 766-782. 10.1080/1461670X.2020.1722731
Through a quantitative content analysis (n = 878), this study examines and compares intermedia agenda-setting between right-wing alternative media outlets and mainstream online newspapers in the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Scholars have described the process of intermedia agenda-setting as an instrument used to uphold news norms within the journalistic community. Giving issue attention to another news media institution is considered a validation of the first news media’s decision to report on a specific issue. This study, however, demonstrates how mainstream newspapers most often give issue attention to right-wing alternative media outlets in order to protect the boundaries of professional journalism as an institution as well as the limits of the debate from actors that are perceived as both journalistically and ideologically deviant. Regarding differences between the three countries, the findings reveal that the intermedia agenda-setting influence of alternative media outlets is higher in countries where populist actors are placed within “the sphere of legitimate controversy” (Norway and Denmark) than in countries where populist actors are banished to “the sphere of deviance” (Sweden).