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De synliga: nyhetskällor i svensk storstadsmorgonpress
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The identifiable sources of the major Swedish morning papers (English)
Abstract [en]

The objective of this thesis is to analyze the identifiable sources in the major Swedish morning papers, to explain the results from the analysis and compare the results with a set of norms to assess the quality of the news.

The thesis uses two theoretical approaches. The first stipulates relevant norms from which an assessment of the news can be made. The norms are deduced from the notion of "public interest" and consist of the criterias independence, accessibility, diversity and informativity. If the news doesn't satisfy these criterias then they are said to be lacking in quality.

The second theoretical approach uses an explanatory model to describe and explain background variables, and to explain the level of news quality. The model combines a number of approaches that have previously been used in media research. The most important is the exchange model and the concept of the news net.

A sample of 2000 articles from the Swedish newspapers Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Göteborgs Posten and Sydsvenska Dagbladet Snällposten, from 1997 and 1998 is selected. From this larger sample a sub-sample of 409 articles is analyzed in detail. The main method applied is content analysis but both texts and images are also analysed through close readings. The larger sample serves as a context to the main study.

The results indicated that large morning papers lack certain qualities:

Limited diversity of identifiable sources.

Accessibility to the news was unevenly spread, that is, women and non-elite sources were poorly represented. Furthermore, small businesses and government authorities received less favourable publicity than average.

The editorial independence was low due to the use of elite sources and the lack of reporters' comments.

A number of possible explanations of the results are discussed. The lack of diversity could be explained by the homogeneity of news due to routines. The routine character of news also explains why the accessibility to the news is poorly spread. News are gathered from routine sources where the news usually breaks, namely, the news net. Sources in the news net are predominantly male elite-sources. Economic conditions, especially the tendency to slim down news organizations, and the pressure of deadlines, also explain the lack of quality in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för journalistik, medier och kommunikation (JMK) , 2000. , 268 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från JMK, ISSN 1102-3015 ; 1102-3015 ;13
Keyword [en]
news sources, news quality, public interest, democracy, major Swedish morning papers, publicity, source strategies
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7659ISBN: 91-88354-18-0OAI: diva2:198784
Public defence
2000-02-11, JMK-salen, Karlavägen 104, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2000-01-21 Created: 2000-01-21 Last updated: 2009-12-09Bibliographically approved

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