Från orsak till verkan. Berättarstrategier i Sveriges Televisions inrikespolitiska nyhetsförmedling 1978-2005
The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the evolution of how domestic political news was constructed in television journalism from the end of the 1970s until the present day, and to discuss this in the context of contemporary political–economic changes in society. The empirical material is made up of domestic politics reporting on Swedish Television’s daily news programmes, Aktuellt (‘Current affairs’) and Rapport (‘Report’), in three different periods. The empirical checkpoints are the autumn of 1978, then 1987, and finally 2005. The theoretical framework builds principally on notions of power and mediated political discourse. Here the initial discussion of the concept of power owes much to theorists such as Michel Foucault and Jürgen Habermas. In addition, the analysis enlists theoretical approaches to the public sphere to examine journalism’s role in public debate, primarily drawing inspiration from Habermas’ theories of the public sphere. Three distinct methodological approaches have been used. The platform used to analyse the empirical material is a critical discourse analysis inspired by Norman Fairclough, combined with a visual analysis of television journalism’s imagery and complemented by a descriptive quantitative analysis of the content, intended to serve as the basis for the detailed quantitative analysis of individual television appearances and the disposition of news packages. The analysis shows that political television journalism at the end of the 1970s had assumed a didactic mode of narration. In the news features from 1987 this journalistic focus had shifted to the politicians’ actions and policy measures. By the autumn of 2005 it is clear that journalism’s narrative strategies had switched to the consequences of these actions. An increased use of specialist language is evidence of the belief on the journalists’ part that the general public already had the necessary knowledge to be able to understand the jargon of the political sphere. Above this, imagery and editing is analysed in terms of notions of legitimacy, authority, and audiovisual interaction. It is shown, for example, that graphics fulfilled a didactic function in all three periods, but that as time went on technical developments and a more pervasive editing style reveal the steady rise of popularisation. Journalism’s investigative role, which was previously flagged using hasty camera movements and zooms, appears today to be pretty much a foregone conclusion, while the editing style contributes to an increased distance between politicians and citizens.The interplay between political–economic circumstances and television journalism’s mode of expression is reflected in one of the key arguments of the thesis: journalism is always a cultural expression, and remains a product of its time.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Aesthetic subjects; SOCIAL SCIENCES; domestic politics; media; journalism; power; Television; narrative; news; discourse; public sphere; moving images; Fairclough
Date of Publication:01/01/2009