Submission Date

7-21-2017

Document Type

Paper

Department

Media & Communication Studies

Faculty Mentor

Anthony Nadler

Project Description

The alt-right was once seen an obscure subculture festering on sites like Reddit and 4chan. They were written off as a bunch of trolls and racists too scared to organize, and media outlets saw them as a fringe movement with little hope of growing. However, the 2016 Presidential election of Donald Trump is one of many important events the alt-right rallied behind. They are even leaving their computer screens and beginning to hold ‘free-speech’ rallies across the country. This project asks very important questions about how this has become possible. What are the nuances of this movement? How were they covered by traditional conservative media outlets? Maybe most importantly, how were they able to manipulate the media agenda and enter the discourse of American politics? I delve into these important questions to understand how messages of white-nationalism, isolationism, and anti-globalism are being re-framed to target and re-energize a younger demographic of conservatives. I hope this project is one of many future studies that can be used to analyze the history and importance of a modern counter-culture of Internet trolls, media manipulators, and organizers in a hyper-partisan news and political environment.

Comments

Presented during the 19th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 21, 2017 at Ursinus College.