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The Stockholm Terror Attack 2017: How Domestic and International Online News Media Framed the Act and Empowered Involved Actors
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Media and Communication Studies.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this comparative study has been to identify similarities and differences in Swedish and British media’s framing and empowerment of actors in relation to the 2017 Stockholm terror attack. Theories on the risk society, framing, power and CDA have been used to create a framework that gives a deeper understanding of media’s role in framing actors and events, and how this can potentially affect the public. Moreover, to determine how media use their power to dis- tribute power among the actors and objects that are part of such an attack.

A critical discourse analysis has been carried out on excerpts from a total of 15 articles, seven and six from Sweden and Britain respectively. In this analysis, both framing and power issues were identified, which was used to conduct a discussion on the findings in relation to the the- oretical framework used.

It was found that while Sweden and Britain are part of the same culture and therefore largely covered the terror attack the same way, there was a significant difference in the portrayal of the perpetrator. Swedish media had a tendency to use othering and describe the perpetrator as one of “them” as opposed to the “we”. British media, on the other hand, made use of other- ing as well, but would also offer descriptions that could make the “we” relate to him. This difference can potentially be due to the fact that Swedes have been more emotional about the attack, as it happened in their own country.

The distribution of power between actors were done similarly in both countries. Two power- plays were identified: the police vs. the perpetrator, and the act (the truck) vs. the public. In order to avoid giving the perpetrator credit for the act, when the act was portrayed, the truck would be described as the powerful actor. Thus, even though it is common sense that the truck did not drive into people on itself, the perpetrator’s actions has not been acknowledged in the media. Instead, when describing the perpetrator, it has been done in relation to the police, who were described as the powerful actors – they caught the perpetrator, i.e. he did not have the power to avoid them or escape.

Thus, while Swedish and British media largely have covered the act the same way and with the same means, the Swedish media have used emotional means to further othering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Framing, Terrorism, Media, Power, Risk Society, Media Representation
National Category
Communication Studies Media Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-40859ISRN: JU-HLK-MKA-2-20180199OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-40859DiVA, id: diva2:1228277
Subject / course
HLK, Media and Communication Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-07-06 Created: 2018-06-27 Last updated: 2018-07-06Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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