‘Go and get’em!’: Authoritarianism, Elitism and Media in the Catalan crisis

Núria Almiron


The Catalan independence movement has already attracted a great deal of scholarly attention, mostly in the political science and law fields and, to a lesser extent, in cultural studies. However, there has not yet been a political economy of communication approach to one of Europe’s most serious territorial crises. Amongst the most salient characteristics of this conflict is the belligerent role taken by the Spanish media elite. They have aligned with the state’s position, and even reinforced it (rather than acting as a watchdog). In some respects, the media elite have become an arm of the state as proponents of a ‘Go and get’em’ stance towards political dissidents. This article considers the links between this compromised news media reporting and state authoritarianism in Spain. I also assess the unity of Spain’s power elite, as described by C. Wright Mills (1956). In this context, mainstream media helps to shape authoritarian capitalism.

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