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The ‘Illiberal Turn’ project enters second phase

Following the successful completion of Work Package 1 – which combined population surveys, digital tracking, media diaries and interviews, all conducted in the context of the 2019 EP elections in the Czech Republic – the research has now moved on to Work Package 2, the main phase of the ‘Illiberal Turn’ project.

Work Package 2 involves a comparative study conducted in four Central and Eastern European countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Serbia, which vary with regard to key systemic aspects that are expected to influence news consumption, political attitudes and behaviour. Data collection for this package combines mixed methods of a population survey, qualitative media diaries, and qualitative interviews pre- and post- the diary phase.

The research team has spent the last months designing the population survey and translating it into the local languages, ready for launch in all four countries in December. This is to be carried out using the questionnaire as an instrument of data collection to obtain information about peoples’ a) sources of news and patterns of news consumption, as well as media bias perceptions; and b) political attitudes, support for populist and right-wing arguments, support for (liberal) democratic values, trust in democratic institutions, and political participation, including voting. The envisaged sample size is c. 1200 respondents per country, to allow a meaningful statistical analysis of the data from users of even fringe news outlets.

After the successful piloting of the survey questionnaires in all four countries, the main fieldwork has started this week in Hungary, Poland and Serbia, whilst in the Czech Republic this has been well underway for a few weeks now. Completion of data collection is expected for January – a nice New Year’s treat for the Team!