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Television and Economic News: Rationality and Discursive Power
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
2007 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the theoretical approach, methodology and empirical findings of an extensive study of Swedish television news about economic and political issues. In the study, a focus is placed on the news reports of the annual presentation of the State budget in the years 19880-1995, a period characterized by systemic change, “marketization” and political restructuring. Methods of quantitative content analysis were combined with qualitative text analysis, with the aim to understand the televised news as an audio-visual textual system with specific discursive qualities. The results indicate that these qualities were crucial in forming public knowledge and comprehension of the economic and political processes during the period under study. They specified and restricted conditions of a rational journalistic discourse, while at the same time they were instruments of insitutional power. The presentation in this paper implicitly argues for journalism research to interrelate three types of theory approach. One is the perspective of Habermas, building on the ideal model of a functioning public sphere and possible rational communication. The other is, in terms of democratic potential its opposite, the negative view represented by Foucault´s theory of institutionalized discursive power. The third perspective deals with the specific semiotic qualities of television as a producer and mediator of knowledge, and directs attention to the significant textual features of the televised news, its representational forms and conventions, and its distinctive ways of producing meaning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. 21- p.
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36664OAI: diva2:289914
ICA Annual Conference, San Francisco 2007: Creating Communication: Content, Control and Critique.
Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2011-07-11Bibliographically approved

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Mårtenson, Bo
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