From Invisibility to the Public Sphere: The Hybrid Media Strategy of a New Party (Podemos, Spain, 2014–2015)
How does a new party manage to move from invisibility to occupying a central position in the public debate? How does it gain the attention of the mainstream media and recognition by the public and the institutions linked to sociopolitical and economic power? This article examines the media strategy followed by the Spanish party Podemos in its first year of activity. We apply quantitative and longitudinal methods to analyze the attention paid to Podemos by television channels, newspapers, online press, and digital networks. Results show that the party prioritized antagonistic talk shows, infotainment, and self-produced television programs, which combined to create a viral presence on digital networks and led to its leaders appearing on mainstream TV channels. This hybrid strategy took the party from media invisibility to the central public sphere, though traditional dependence on favorable opinion polls and electoral success were also relevant.