IPI kicks off the second season of our “Decoding Disinformation” podcast with a compelling conversation about the rise of extremism in Austria, where the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) came out on top in the recent European Parliament elections. Among other things, the FPÖ is known for its attacks on “mainstream” media.

Our guest is Austrian journalist and author Ingrid Brodnig, one of the country’s leading experts on far-right movements and online disinformation. We’ll explore the strategies the FPÖ and similar parties use to sow distrust in mainstream media by portraying them as mouthpieces for conspiratorial global powers opposed to the interests of the public.

As Austria heads towards national parliamentary elections in September, rhetoric against the media is expected to escalate. Brodnig will help us understand the global implications of these trends and draw parallels with populist movements in other countries.

Join us for this insightful conversation hosted by Javier Luque, Head of Digital Communications at IPI, as we decode the disinformation shaping the political landscape in Austria and beyond.

Key takeaways:

  • Migration and the COVID-19 pandemic have played a significant role in the increasing support for extremist political parties in Austria, such as the Freedom Party.
  • False narratives, including conspiracy theories, are used by these parties to create a sense of distrust in mainstream media.
  • Social media plays a crucial role in spreading these false narratives and mobilizing supporters.
  • The upcoming parliamentary elections in Austria are expected to further intensify the rhetoric against the media.
  • The global rise of populist movements, characterized by aggressive communication styles and attacks on journalists, can be observed in Austria as well.

Understanding the factors that shape the public debate is crucial in addressing the spread of disinformation during heated political campaigns.

Guests: Ingrid Brodnig, columnist at Austrian weekly Profil and book author expert of online extremism.

Producer and Host: Javier Luque, head of digital communications at IPI.


Related links mentioned in the episode:

Other episodes in this series:

Season 1

Episode 1: Setting the Scene

Episode 2: How journalists investigate the far right

Episode 3: Fact-checkers targeted by populists in Europe

Episode 4: When disinformation campaigns fuel hate and harassment

Episode 5: Alexander Roth – Smeared and threatened by the far-right next door

Episode 6: Franziska Tschinderle – Attacked by Orbán’s state media


This podcast series is part of the project Decoding the disinformation playbook of populism in Europe, which is supported by the European Media and Information Fund, managed by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.


The sole responsibility for any content supported by the European Media and Information Fund lies with the author(s) and it may not necessarily reflect the positions of the EMIF and the Fund Partners, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European University Institute.