4. semester, Kommunikation, Kandidat
In the light of changes to the modern news media and the falling number of foreign correspondents in the Danish press, this paper seeks to investigate today’s foreign news coverage in Denmark. The approach of the investigation is to study coverage of Latin America in 2015 in the three largest newspapers in the country.
The applied methodology is a quantitative content analysis based on the coding of journalistic content in 50 percent of all relevant articles in the said newspapers in 2015. Also, some qualitative examples have been used during the analytic work to further underline certain points. Furthermore, the level of coverage during the last 25 years is also highlighted in a simple frequency count in order to provide the analysis of the contemporary coverage with some degree of extra contextual knowledge.
Theoretically the paper builds on the results of a string of empirical studies of Danish foreign reporting ranging back to the middle of the nineties. Moreover, the study is inspired by a 50 year old theoretical debate on how events become news objects. The main inputs for such a theoretical framework are found in the work of communication scholars Johan Galtung & Mari Holmboe Ruge (1965). Also, the traditional Danish news criteria known as AVISK, commonly used in all journalistic educational practises in the country, are included.
The main findings of the paper, with regards to the journalistic content of the studied news coverage, are as follows. Firstly, it is noted that the three biggest newspapers in Denmark reach the lowest point of coverage, frequency-wise, since 1996. Secondly, there is a clear difference in the ways that the three newspapers cover Latin America as only one newspaper makes use of a permanently employed correspondent based in Latin America. In order to deliver a coverage of a similar depth and length to that offered by the correspondent it is observed that the other two newspapers have to make use of translated articles from large scale American media. Thus, the correspondent appears as a more flexible and genre-adaptable resource than the domestically based journalists. And the correspondent seems keener on taking the role as the reader’s guide through analysis, interpretation and a more distinct use of local sources.
Thirdly, with regards to angles, topics and countries covered, there is evidence of a clear tendency towards Latin America being negatively and sensationally presented as a conflict-prone and problematic area. This is often done through focus on the acts of individuals, and these individuals often seem to be elite persons within politics or sports. On the other hand, it is contemplated that the coverage of Latin America is deeply divided with regards to the nations in question as 45% of all primary journalistic presentations in 2015 had Brazil in the center of things.
Lastly the findings of the paper are discussed in the light of globalization and the vast changes it has caused structurally within and amongst the largest media corporations. Here it is concluded that the coverage of Latin America shows no sign of a new global, journalistic culture emerging within the traditional structures of the printed newspapers. Instead, the coverage of Latin America indicates a tendency towards the use of news criteria that trigger a dichotomized perception of ‘us and them’. Thus, in the three largest Danish newspapers Latin American nations are primarily presented in a stereotypical, superficial and simplistic manner.
|Udgivelsesdato||31 maj 2016|