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The Good, the Mean Publicity. A case study on refugee crisis with its consequences in anti-immigrant alternative media in Finland over 2015–2017

The dissertation research investigates different conventions how the so-called European refugee crisis has been covered in counterpublics in terms of right-wing populism. The focus is on Finnish-language MV-lehti, founded in 2014, which is one of the most well-known online publications contesting mainstream media. The case study approaches the topic from six news cases over the years 2015–2017 in Finland and the United Kingdom.

Since 2015, the public debate on refugees, including in Finland, has been strongly polarised into individuals with two dissenting stances: The "immigration critics", who resist asylum seekers and immigration, and the "tolerants", who advocate multiculturalism. I am examining the public debate especially with respect to counterpublics which have strongly criticised the traditional media coverage on the refugee crisis.

How the European refugee crisis has been covered in counterpublics? I scrutinize the topic from four viewpoints: group polarization, constrcutions of the people, transnational comparability of online publications and emotion in a meaning-making process. Right-wing populist ideology is a common theme that links the four substudies together. 


Sponsors: Media Industry Research Foundation of Finland, JOKES, C. V. Akerlund Media Foundation

Research period: 2016–2021

Researcher: Salla Tuomola, salla.tuomola at