Publication details

Reflect my world or I won't read it. Audience expectations of Czech public service media and their connection with political preferences

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Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description Public Service Media (PSM) across Europe have been in recent years under great pressure, especially by populist politicians. The situation in the Czech Republic is no exception. Populist politicians accuse public service media of denying them enough space to express themselves, of favoring other political parties, failing to portray reality, and of framing news with liberal values (Sehl, 2020). Simultaneously, people with populist attitudes prefer media that reflect the populist vision of society based on dividing people into “ordinary citizens” and “corrupt elites and dangerous minorities” (Hameleers et al., 2017; Fawzi & Krämer, 2021). This creates pressure on public service media because they are supposed to foster social cohesion and integration (Just, 2020) and yet they, because of that, inherently cannot fulfill populist voters’ expectations. A number of studies look at audience expectations from the media (Vos, Eichholz, & Karaliova, 2019; Willnat, Weaver, and Wilhoit, 2017). However, only one of them focuses particularly on public service media (Asano et al., 2021). Moreover, there is no study that addresses the expectations from public service media and takes into account the political preferences of their audience members. Furthermore, the research on audiences’ expectations has been mostly quantitative, except for one recent qualitative study (Karlsson & Clerwall, 2019). Therefore, the aim of this study is to fill this research gap and use a qualitative approach to find out what expectations the public has of public service media. The study will be based on 6 focus groups. Each focus group will be composed of either voters of Czech populist parties or voters of non-populist parties or non-voters. The classification of the participants into these three types stems from an assumption that the participants’ expectations regarding public service media will differ in line with their political preferences, which could cause fundamental disagreement among respondents and thus undermine a safe environment for expressing opinions. Preliminary results of the analysis should be available at the conference. Sources: Sehl, A., Simon, F. M., Schroeder, R., & Büchel, F. (2020). The populist campaigns against European public service media: Hot air or existential threat? International Communication Gazette. Hameleers, M., Bos, L., & de Vreese, C. H. (2017). The Appeal of Media Populism: The Media Preferences of Citizens with Populist Attitudes. Mass Communication and Society. Fawzi, N & Krämer, B. (2021). The Media as Part of a Detached Elite? Exploring Antimedia Populism Among Citizens and Its Relation to Political Populism. International Journal of Communication. Vos, T., Eichholz, M. & Karaliova, T. (2019). Audiences and Journalistic Capital. Journalism Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2018.1477551 Willnat, L., Weaver, D. H. & Wilhoit, G. C. (2017). The American journalist in the digital age: How journalists and the public think about journalism in the United States. Journalism Studies. DOI: 10.1080/ 1461670X.2017.1387071 Asano, T., Tago, A. & Tanaka, S. (2021). The Role of Public Broadcasting in Media Bias: Do People React Differently to Pro-government Bias in Public and Private Media? Political Behavior. Karlsson, M. & Clerwall. Ch. (2019). Cornerstones in Journalism. Journalism Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2018.1499436
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