Discursive Shifts in the German Right-Wing Newspaper Junge Freiheit 1997-2019: A Computational Approach

Christian S. Czymara & Leo Heinrich Maria Bauer

APA citation: Czymara, C. S., & Bauer, L. (2023). Discursive Shifts in the German Right-Wing Newspaper Junge Freiheit 1997–2019: A Computational Approach. German Politics, 1-28.


Right-wing media are pivotal for the success of the political right. We investigate the discursive trends in roughly 57,000 articles published in Germany’s biggest far-right weekly newspaper, Junge Freiheit (JF), between 1997 and 2019. During this period, JF expanded steadily in terms of both circulation and output. Quantitative content analyses reveal that, firstly, JF shows clear partisanship: although officially independent, JF has already covered the relatively new right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland more than all other parties combined. Secondly, JF tends to form its identity mostly through railing against the perceived dominance of liberalism in politics and society, although attention to these aspects has decreased in recent years. At the same time, whitewashing Germany’s past has been a rather stable theme. Lastly, the JF clearly casts immigrants, refugees, and Muslims as a threat to Germany. However, this aspect has mainly become prominent in recent years, and the refugee inflows of 2015/16 worked as a catalyst that boosted attention on related topics. We discuss implications for scholarship on right-wing media in general, and Germany in particular.


  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age according to Altmetric (note that API was broken and only counted a few Retweets)