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Ana Makhashvili & Margreth Lünenborg: #Chemnitz and its polarized affective publics


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In the past few years, legacy media in Germany have been facing increasing challenges from the country’s far-right. Among cries of „lying press”, far-right actors attempt to discredit legacy media’s reporting practices. „Affective publics” (Papacharissi, 2015) are key in this process, forming around the expression of emotions such as anger directed at perceived elites, including the press (Wahl- Jorgensen, 2017). Social media platforms lay grounds for such contestation as they provide the space and the technological means for publics to make „affective claims to agency” (Papacha-rissi, 2015, p. 119). Based on an empirical analysis of the Twitter discourse around the far-right protests in Chemnitz in 2018, this paper discusses how far-right publics invoke emotions to challenge the legitimacy and authority of journalism as an institution.

The presentation was part of the Three-Country Conference on Communication Science organized by DGPuK, ÖGK, and SGKM.