The media of the ultra-right
Discourse and audience activism online
In light of the rise of ultra-right ideologies in Europe, this article offers an in-depth analysis of the discourse on immigration presented by CasaPound Italia (CPI), a self-defined fascist organization in Italy. This case study illustrates the importance of media and communication activism for the promotion of contemporary ultra-right movements. Specifically, the analysis focuses on how CPI reported one of the first widely covered immigration-related disaster in the Mediterranean, on 3 October 2013, and on the audience interactions that followed on the organisation’s website. In this article, I argue that CasaPound Italia’s online communiqué and its members’ comments need to be considered as one discursive event in which the encoding/decoding processes at play can be explored in detail. The examination, which draws from critical discourse studies, reveals audiences’ contributions in unpacking the implicit message contained in the original communiqué and underlines the active role that “rank and file” members play in the promotion of ultra-right ideologies.
Keywords: ultra-right/far-right media, ultra-right/far-right audiences, ultra-right/far-right social movements, critical discourse studies, fascism, social media, alternative media, radical media, online activism, immigration.
Published online: 20 October 2016
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