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Revolutionen är en man: Genus, nationalitet och nyhetsvärdering i de svenska mediernas rapportering om den arabiska våren
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this study we examine four Swedish newspapers’ visual coverage of the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings in 2010 and 2011 – commonly known as the “Arab Spring Revolution”, the “Jasmine revolution” and in Sweden also the “Women’s revolution” – focusing on three main perspectives: news values and framing, postcolonialism, and gender.

By means of a comprehensive content analysis and an in-depth semiotic analysis, the purpose of this study is to investigate how Swedish written media frames the revolution and its initiators and partakers through news photographs, headlines, lead paragraphs and photograph bylines, and to determine whether or not it reproduces earlier trends of media coverage and framing of non-Westerners and non-Western societies.

The purpose of the extensive content analysis is to attain data for empirical research of the visual portrayal of the uprisings’ first twelve weeks in Sweden’s four largest newspapers Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet and Expressen. The analysis reveals that episodic framing is regularly used in all four newspapers, and that media demonizes Tunisians and Egyptians by constructing them as a brutal, uncivilized and threatening group which almost exclusively consists of men, and whose members are neither quoted nor named. It also shows that women are symbolically annihilated by media and that the very few women who do occur are gender stereotyped in accordance with established media conventions and postcolonial tradition, with the interesting exception of women being quoted to a larger extent than men. The analysis furthermore confirms the low occurrence of female journalists in Swedish foreign reporting, as well as demonstrates that the gender of the journalists does not influence what types of stories are written or how they are framed.

The variable frequencies obtained from the content analysis provide indicators which are subsequently explored in the semiotic analysis of four news photographs. The qualitative study establishes that the North African uprisings are represented and framed as being conducted by a group of angry, uncontrolled and unstoppable men. In conclusion, the results of this study indicates that Sweden’s four largest newspapers use a colonial discourse which threatens to establish and reproduce the idea of Tunisians and Egyptians as the Arabic “Others”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 84 p.
Keyword [en]
Arab Spring Revolution, Women’s Revolution, Jasmine Revolution, Tunisia, Egypt, news values, framing, journalism, intersectionality, gender, symbolic annihilation, postcolonialism, representation, orientalism, the “Other”, identification, demonization, semiotic analysis, content analysis, Arab, Muslim
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89355OAI: diva2:617365
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2013-04-29 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2013-04-29Bibliographically approved

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