Need an Expert? Post-Trump media landscape

Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Fox News cameraman interviewing masked woman

The legacy of President of the United States Donald Trump’s influence on the media and how it has transformed the medium.

Members of the media may directly contact the following experts:

Bertrand Labasse (English and French)*
*Print/web only for English requests*

Full Professor in the Departments of Communications and French, Faculty of Arts.

Professor Labasse is a media specialist who was recently awarded the Idées – Les influences 2020 in France for his book La valeur des informations.

Marcel Chartrand (English and French)

Part-time Professor, Department of Communication, Faculty of Arts.

The success and fall of the « Trump media revolution » and its impact on communications includes four key points:

  • He rewrote how politics are marketed by promoting an unprecedented media craze and by flooding social media platforms. This allowed him to bypass traditional journalism filters by using the black hole of social media.
  • He has made politics into a show and his overexposure has been a big hit with audiences, whether it was FOX News, CNN, the New York Times or the Washington Post. Traditional media have, unfortunately for the American public, become complicit and complacent in this.
  • His base of millions of Twitter followers are political orphans who feel victimized by the powers that be and what they deem elite media. Trump feeds them repeated falsehoods which generates a selective thinking that is then reproduced in the Twittersphere through the sharing of content that reinforces their fixed ideas.
  • All media and elected American officials should make gigantic efforts to reframe the conversation and public debates post Trump, to reestablish confidence in the United States’ democratic institutions.

Elizabeth Dubois (English only)

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Faculty of Arts, and Faculty Member, Centre for Law, Technology and Society.

Professor Dubois can speak to the political uses of media platforms as well as questions of regulation and governance of these platforms. Her expertise on the current media echosystem includes political opinion formation, political bots, echo chambers and filter bubbles, the spread of disinformation.

Pierre Belanger (French only)

Full professor, Department of Communication, Faculty of Arts.


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