Constructing (Il)Legitimate Democracy: Populism and Power Concentration in Newspaper Discourse on Venezuela
2014 (English)In: tripleC (cognition, communication, co-operation): Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society / Unified Theory of Information Research Group, ISSN 1726-670X, Vol. 12, no 2, 802-821 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Despite scholarly consensus about the importance of the media for democracy, scant attention has been paid to what democracy means to journalistic discourse and how discourses on democracy are interrelated with legitimacy. The aim of this paper is to explore how (il)legitimate democracy is constructed in newspaper discourse. By using critical discourse analysis (CDA), this paper examines foreign news items about Venezuela, a country that under the presidency of Hugo Chávez has challenged the dominant global political and economic orders. The analysis section focuses on two discourses about the Venezuelan government: the constructions of populism and power concentration, which serve to mark deviance from what is perceived as a legitimate democracy. This paper argues that a liberal perception of democracy constitutes a central framework for the construction of (il)legitimate democracy, which is revealed not least by news discourse’s focus on what is morally unacceptable political conduct according to liberal democratic norms. In this respect, the media discourse serves to denounce potential abuses of governmental power but fail to recognize democracy in the context of a social struggle against the effects of neoliberalism and capitalism. In this case, the news media is hegemonic in the Gramscian sense, because it provides a framework of democracy that remains within the dominant economic and political structures.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 12, no 2, 802-821 p.
Democracy; Media; Journalism; Discourse; Ideology; Legitimacy; Liberalism; Foreign News, Venezuela, Hugo Chávez
Media and Communications
Research subject Media and Communication Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-27909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-27909DiVA: diva2:853041