Mediating populism


A new report from Demos explores the challenges faced by traditional media organisations in responding to the new landscape of the ‘populist moment’.

Through a unique series of anonymous, candid interviews with political journalists, producers and editors, the report peers behind the curtain at Britain’s media organisations, shining light on the daily practices of journalism in the digital age.

In a case study focusing on the personal and organisational decisions made in covering the European Referendum in June 2016, it showcases the complex intersection of moral, practical and competitive decisions that built one of the most consequential information environments in British history. While much has been discussed about the media’s role in the ‘populist turn’ in Western democracies, this has largely focused on social media platforms, and the actual experience of journalists in responding to these turbulent political times has previously been little explored.

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