Publication details

Just a “Mouthpiece of Biased Elites”? Populist Attitudes and Trust in the Public Service Media in the Czech Republic



Year of publication 2021
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description Research on public service media (PSM) is primarily focused on technological change and adaptation to a converged media environment. However, recent studies show that they are currently facing also political challenges. These challenges are widely coming from authoritarian populist politicians, which label professional media as ‘fake news’ or ‘a part of liberal propaganda’. Professional journalists are referred to as flawed cultural and intellectual elites and enemies of people. However, the reasons why the public service media in particular are a thorn in the side of the people who make up the electorate of populist parties have not yet been explored. There are just some studies that explore general trust in professional media in the context of populism. In a fragmented and polarized media environment, where each medium has a different target population and where media more and more hold specific opinion position, it is important to consider specific types of media. In this case especially the public service media, which should serve all. This study, which is based on a representative survey of the Czech adult population (quota sampling, combination of CAPI and CAWI, N=3251) collected between December 2019 and January 2020 as part of the project Trust in Media in a Fragmented Media Environment: The Case of the Czech Republic aims to fill this gap in research. Its main target is to determine how people who vote for populist parties and people who vote for all other parties differ in predictors of trust in the public service media in the Czech Republic. Preliminary results show that for the people with populist attitudes is the most important feeling that journalists are trustful and media they consume correspond to their worldview. For people who vote for all other parties, it’s most important that media adhere to journalistic standards and inform independently and impartially.
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