Analyzing the Aesthetics of Right-Wing Extremist Media

Haley Mlotek, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review, wrote an article recently discussing the appeal and the appearance of right-wing media to those who consume it. She suggests there are two main “aesthetic modes” of said media. First, is an exaggerated sense of seriousness, whether that be to do with the message itself, or simply the set design having contrasting colors and headlines that take up half the screen.

According to Irwin Chen, the lead designer at the New School’s Journalism and Design program, “Once you start saying This is the color we’re using, this is the typeface we’re using, it doesn’t matter if there is a lack of a style or a lack of design discipline,” Chen said. “It’s just that you’re being consistent.”

This consistency proves to be effective not only in extremist media, but in most forms of marketing. It’s easy for consumers to associate something arbitrary with the product you’re selling.

Mlotek’s second aesthetic mode is invisibility. She argues that places on the internet that allows people to be anonymous platforms like Facebook. These sites often are overly mundane, and have the potential to display misinformation right next to images of people’s vacations and pets, which suggest to consumers that the misinformation they are seeing is normal and justified.


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