Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
Title: The Construction of a Scandal
Number of pages: 38
Author: Cecilia Elovsson
Tutor: Amelie Hössjer
Course: Media and Communication Studies D
Period: Spring 2007
University: Division of Media and Communication, Department of Information Science, Uppsala University.
Purpose/Aim: In contemporary Media and Communications research, media contents are seen as a result of selection and representation. Accordingly, media is not reflecting real-life events, but transforming the reality into news. The aim of this study is to look more closely into the news construction process in relation to a politician scandal. Sweden’s largest tabloid, which is monitored in this study, works within certain frames which are reliant on financial, cultural and political aspects. Inspired by the Laclau and Mouffe discourse theory, I use discourse analysis in order to reveal how news slanting and news stereotyping are constructed. The aim is also to elucidate how the coverage changes over time. Theories relating to media logic include news valuation and principles of news slanting and stereotyping. The material is divided into three episodes, which are analyzed on three levels. The main results are put together and presented separately.
Material/Method: Discourse analysis inspired by Laclau and Mouffe.
Main Results: Binary oppositions, frequently occurring in the coverage, indicate a willingness to simplify and categorize the events and its actors. However, a displacement of meaning arises over time within the identified discourses. Nodes and logics of analogy are tools contributing to the understanding of the discursive functioning and its limits. Tabloid, political, judicial and moral discourses are distinguished in the research material and analyzed. Within the latter ones, different meanings are struggling in order to obtain hegemony. At first glance, the representation of the two main actors are simplified and based on prejudice stereotypes. However, these representations are by means of the news slanting challenged by additional meanings.
Keywords: Discourse analysis, media logic, principles of news slanting and stereotyping.
Uppsala: Medier och kommunikation , 2007. , 39 p.