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Emotion mobilisation through the imagery of people in Finnish-language right-wing alternative media

Tumola, Salla and Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin ORCID: 2023. Emotion mobilisation through the imagery of people in Finnish-language right-wing alternative media. Digital Journalism 11 (1) , pp. 61-79. 10.1080/21670811.2022.2061551

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Right-wing populists’ online communication relies heavily on images and their emotional appeal. In this article, we study how images of human actors are deployed to engender emotions in their viewers in an example of Finnish-language right-wing alternative media—MV-lehti. We focus on three news cases in the publication’s immigration coverage over 2015–2017. We understand emotions as part of a larger societal meaning-making process that is consciously, culturally and socially produced. Using methods of visual content analysis and critical close reading, we find that the most exclusionary emotions evident in the imagery of people are fear, disgust, hate and distrust. Through these negative emotions, each group of people is represented as a scapegoat for the “distress of ordinary people.” By excluding these groups from “us,” MV-lehti identifies them as representations of Otherness. This goes hand in hand with a distinctive populist style arguing that society is separated into two antagonistic groups—“the pure people” versus “the corrupt elite.”

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 2167-0811
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 28 March 2022
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 20:53

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