Populist Political Parties in the Media: A Newspaper Analysis of the PVV


  • Nicole Kusters




democracy, resentment


Since the turn of the twenty-first century, populism is on the rise in Europe. Traditionally, scholars focus on the definition of populism and the discovery of explanatory factors for the rise of populist parties. The role of the news media has largely been neglected here, even though studies outline that the media play a large role in shaping people’s opinions. This study concentrates on how media content might affect public perceptions concerning populist parties. It undertakes a newspaper analysis of three Dutch newspapers, focusing on the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV). The media-effect ‘framing’ is used as a helpful tool to make sense of the media content. The analysis shows that the selected newspapers create a largely negative environment for the PVV in Dutch politics. Furthermore, the media portrayal becomes increasingly negative over time as more extreme frames are used to address the party. In addition, the study finds that both popular and quality newspapers are rather negative towards populist parties.