Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Economic Citizenship in Online Financial News: Affect and Argumentation in Eurocrisis News Coverage

Yrjo Tuunanen, Heidi Hirsto


This paper evaluates the practices of online news media in representing citizens in the midst of the Eurozone crisis from the perspective of civic participation. Our special focus is on the interplay of argumentation and affect as crucial sources of political action. The empirical analysis examines affective and argumentative framing in two multimodal story types, captioned photo galleries and video reviews, and evaluates their capacity facilitating or hindering political agency. Video reviews construct news narratives that incorporate both affective and argumentative elements. Photo galleries, by contrast, emphasize affect at the cost of argumentation and voice resulting in alienation and silencing. The analysis gives grounds to suggest that dramatized visual news narratives about the financial crisis echo discourses of war on terror and unspecific threat. Such discourses legitimize pre-emptive action (austerity measures, police force), which, in effect, participate in producing what it is supposed to fight (economic inequality, social unrest, violence).

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