Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Reporting the news: how Breitbart derives legitimacy from recontextualised news

Roberts, Jason and Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin ORCID: 2022. Reporting the news: how Breitbart derives legitimacy from recontextualised news. Discourse and Society 33 (6) , pp. 833-846. 10.1177/09579265221095422

[thumbnail of 09579265221095422.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (97kB) | Preview


The alternative right-wing news website Breitbart has been a subject of increased academic scrutiny following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President in 2016. Due to its prominence during the campaign, where it became the most significant news website within the conservative media sphere. Breitbart remains highly influential within the conservative media sphere, particularly as a result of its attacks on mainstream media actors and organisations, which remain a prominent feature of its coverage and represent an ongoing form of metajournalistic discourse in the struggle to define the boundaries of journalism. This paper seeks to examine how Breitbart builds journalistic authority and legitimacy amongst their readership as a result of attacks on liberal and conservative journalists alike, emotionally appealing to normative, ‘common-sense’ understandings of journalism. In particular, Breitbart frequently use recontextualised news as a method of attacking oppositional journalism whilst simultaneously bolstering their own journalistic credentials. We argue that in a media ecology in which emotional content is prioritised in order to commodify the anger of citizens, practices of recontextualisation will continue to play an important role in the battle over the boundaries of acceptable journalistic practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 0957-9265
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 June 2022
Date of Acceptance: 25 April 2022
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 07:31

Citation Data

Cited 1 time in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics