Rhetoric, Politics and Society

Post-Truth, Post-Press, Post-Europe

Euroscepticism and the Crisis of Political Communication

Authors: Rowinski, Paul

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  • Explores how mainstream press, in the social media age, is failing to confront the emotiveness of Post-Truth while actually feeding it
  • Analyses the synergies that can combine in Post-truth Eurosceptic press discourse
  • Unravels the power struggles below the surface of subsequent political and media discourse analysed
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About this book

This book explores whether a beleaguered press in recent years has been developing an emotive, Eurosceptic post-truth rhetoric of its own – competing for attention with populist politicians. These politicians now by-pass the media, talking directly to their publics in blogs, on Twitter and Facebook. In the post-truth age, objective facts are less influential in shaping opinion than appeals to emotion. Audiences congregate around views they share and want to believe. The author presents a critical discourse analysis of the language used by populist politicians online, on Facebook, and subsequently quoted in the press, which highlights how the political rhetoric of Italian and British politicians is often at its most inflammatory around the issue of immigration. The same goes for the press. The Italian case study focuses on media coverage of the 2014 and 2019 European elections and 2018 general election. The British case study examines press reporting of the 2016 UK referendum on EU membership, the 2017 general election, and the September 2019 parliamentary debate immediately following the UK Supreme Court ruling that proroguing of Parliament was illegal. From the picture that emerges, the author argues that journalists need to change how they report, to challenge the post-truthers, holding them to account and pressing them on the facts while also harnessing the emotions of disaffected publics. 

About the authors

Paul Rowinski is Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the University of Bedfordshire, UK. He worked for the regional, national and transnational press for two decades, including as a UK central European correspondent, writing for the Financial Times, The Independent, The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and The European. His research focuses on the discourse and political communication of Europe in the media.

Reviews

“Paul Rowinski's typically robust polemic pulls few punches and is not for the faint-hearted or the closed-minded. Ardent fans of tabloid xenophobia masked as Euroscepticism are unlikely to enjoy this rollercoaster ride, an uncompromising critique of the political and journalistic rhetoric of contemporary European nationalism. This book fights fire with fire. It isn't so much a cure for the rabid pack of the populist press and their demagogic masters. Rowinski has brought a shotgun to the party, and his cartridges are well primed.” (Professor Alec Charles, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Winchester, UK)

"The thesis by Rowinski - that a beleaguered mainstream press is failing to confront the emotiveness of Post-Truth and nationalism, but actually feeding it – is a very relevant one. The focus is on “Euroscepticism”, which of course is more than only “EU-scepticism”. The thesis extends further, arguing that the response of the mainstream media could threaten its role as the gatekeeper of democracy, while actually exacerbating the risk of its own demise. According to Rowinski the sanctity of veracity and holding governments to account is at stake. These problems are very important ones for democratically constituted societies." (Professor Sebastian Köhler, HMKW University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

—   "In the new Covid-19 era it is very important to understand the dynamics of political communication via Web and Paul Rowinski's book is essential to understand the dynamics of political communication, particularly on social media. This book is a compass for orientation in a sea of fake news shaken by the waves of populism.” (Alessandro Scipione, journalist and geopolitical analyst at Agenzia Nova, Italian News Agency.


Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-55571-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Post-Truth, Post-Press, Post-Europe
Book Subtitle
Euroscepticism and the Crisis of Political Communication
Authors
Series Title
Rhetoric, Politics and Society
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-55571-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-55571-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-55570-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 252
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics