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Understanding Media Accountability: Media Accountability in Relation to Media Criticism and Media Governance in Sweden 1940-2010
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The concepts of media accountability, media criticism and media governance are analysed and discussed in a Swedish setting; how they relate to each other and interact. This is achieved by using various methods – a survey to editors, analy- ses of parliamentary debates, interviews, direct observation and document stu- dies – in studying different stakeholders, media representatives and governance conditions in Sweden during the last 70 years.

The findings point in a direction of dynamic complexities with a central role for media criticism. The type, level and intensity of media criticism may affect the functioning of the media governance structure and is a vital part of the media accountability process. The media governance structure – which in addi- tion to media criticism is influenced by international conditions, technological developments and political factors – may in turn affect the media accountability process. In this process, media representatives aim to defend obtained positions of societal influence, achieve and maintain positive PR and enhance editorial quality at the same time.

Media criticism may start a substantial media accountability process if the discontent is widespread and not countered by market approval or political iner- tia. The process is facilitated if the critique is connected to more than one frame of accountability and if stakeholders see opportunities for dual objectives. Very strong and widespread media criticism may be difficult for media organizations to neglect.

The accountability process in Sweden has become less dependent on corpora- tive negotiations between organized interests and political assemblies. Instead, two other tendencies seem to have emerged: on the one hand a possibility for media organizations to favour such accountability processes that they are able to control, and on the other hand the rise of a rich variety of sometimes short-lived accountability instruments that may develop for specific occasions and are difficult to control.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2012. , 68 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 131
Keyword [en]
media criticism, media responsibility, media accountability, media regulation, media governance, public interest
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-16679Local ID: DEMICOMISBN: 978-91-87103-26-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-16679DiVA: diva2:542409
Public defence
2012-09-07, Lubbesalen M 108, Åkroken, Sundsvall, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-08-14 Created: 2012-07-31 Last updated: 2013-01-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The citizen as media critic in periods of media change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The citizen as media critic in periods of media change
2010 (English)In: OBS - Observatorio, ISSN 1646-5954, E-ISSN 1646-5954, Vol. 4, no 4, 287-306 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Media criticism often evolve – and grow in strength – during times of media change with new forms of journalism, new media formats, new media markets, new ways of addressing media markets and new media technologies. Different stakeholders may pursue their interests by formulating a media critique that protect their positions and promotes status quo. It is not difficult to find critics who in the name of the citizens formulate criticism against journalism and the media. It is more difficult to find and study representative examples of criticism expressed by the citizens themselves. The technological development on the Internet has paved the way for a number of new communicative tools that enable users to interact with each other and publish content in a way that changes the conditions for citizens to act as media critics radically. This is an aspect of the Internet’s democratic and participatory potential – and a key point in the rhetoric surrounding the concept “web 2.0”. In this paper we analyse and compare media critical debates during two periods of media change in Sweden: A) the debate caused by the launch of the tabloid Expressen in the 1950’s, and B) the critique against the new, commercially driven participatory news- and debate forum called Newsmill, launched in 2008. These historical and contemporary cases are used to enlighten a theoretical discussion about participatory online media’s potential for improving the conditions for citizens to act as media critics in a fruitful way. Both Expressen and Newsmill represent examples of journalistic innovations that affect surrounding media considerably. The result of the comparison point to a new dilemma related to the role of citizens as media critics in the digital age. The fact that the citizens themselves are now increasingly involved in the production of content, also puts them in a new role as defenders of the site that publish their content, against critics from traditional mass media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lisbon: OberCom, 2010
Keyword
Media criticism; tabloid journalism; participatory journalism; Web 2.0; Expressen; Newsmill; Media Accountability
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12661 (URN)10.7458/obs442010432 (DOI)DEMICOM (Local ID)DEMICOM (Archive number)DEMICOM (OAI)
Projects
Digital Public Discourses
Available from: 2010-12-14 Created: 2010-12-14 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. From a Medical To a Human Rights Perspective: A Case Study of Efforts to Change the Portrayal of Persons with Disabilities on Swedish Television
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From a Medical To a Human Rights Perspective: A Case Study of Efforts to Change the Portrayal of Persons with Disabilities on Swedish Television
2010 (English)In: International Communication Gazette, ISSN 1748-0485, E-ISSN 1748-0493, Vol. 72, no 4-5, 379-394 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies from the US and Western Europe show that persons with disabilities were predominantly portrayed from a medical perspective in the media during the 20th century; that is, with the disability itself in focus, framed as a problem of the individual. Since the 1980s, the United Nations and disability organizations have tried to establish a human rights perspective: where persons with disabilities are seen as persons that do not yet enjoy equal rights, which is a problem that society has to resolve. What can disability organizations do to promote a human rights perspective in the mainstream media? This is a question raised in this case study of the efforts made by the Swedish Disability Federation to influence the public broadcaster Swedish Television. By using media accountability strategies, the federation managed to influence the corporation’s policy documents, diversity strategies, in-house education of producers and reporters, journalistic debates and, in some cases, journalistic output.

National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12806 (URN)10.1177/1748048510362620 (DOI)DEMICOM (Local ID)DEMICOM (Archive number)DEMICOM (OAI)
Available from: 2010-12-15 Created: 2010-12-15 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
3. Between Public Responsibility and Public Relations: A Case Study of Editors' Attitudes Towards Media Accountability in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Between Public Responsibility and Public Relations: A Case Study of Editors' Attitudes Towards Media Accountability in Sweden
2010 (English)In: Communication, Culture & Critique, ISSN 1753-9129, Vol. 3, no 2, 190-206 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the implementation and effectiveness of media accountability systems. Empirically, the article is based on a national survey of attitudes among editors-in-chief of the 24 largest Swedish newspapers. In this survey, different kinds of media accountability systems are evaluated and ranked by the editors: internal mechanisms, external activities, and cooperative systems. This case study of Swedish editors' attitudes toward different media accountability systems confirms that to some extent they prefer systems not perceived as “outside-in” regulations. When editors can pick and choose, the public relation dimension of media accountability is evident. But their ability to exclusively select accountability options becomes more limited because of media globalization trends, new technologies, and media regulatory efforts on the international level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington DC: International Communication Association, 2010
Keyword
media governance, media accountability, Sweden
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12355 (URN)10.1111/j.1753-9137.2010.01066.x (DOI)DEMICOM (Local ID)DEMICOM (Archive number)DEMICOM (OAI)
Available from: 2010-12-01 Created: 2010-12-01 Last updated: 2012-08-14Bibliographically approved
4. Changing Political Attitudes towards Media Accountability in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing Political Attitudes towards Media Accountability in Sweden
2012 (English)In: Central European Journal of Communication, ISSN 1899-5101, Vol. 5, no 2, 205-224 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Considering the changes in media and in society that have occurred since the heyday of the Democratic corporatist model, with its strong emphasis on institutionalised self-regulation of the press (Hallin & Mancini, 2004), this article examines changes in attitudes towards media accountability measures among policymakers. Attitudes prevalent in the peak years of political pressure on the media system in the Democratic corporatist countries are compared with the attitudes existing today. The data studied are printed minutes of media debates in the Swedish Parliament in the 196os and similar debates during the last years, Sweden being a typical country for the model. The comparison indicates that both the views on media deficiencies and the views on remedies have changed over the last 40 years. Accountability measures are still in demand, although more through governance than from government.

Keyword
media accountability, media criticism, media governance, parliamentary debates, media self-regulation, media responsibility, media regulation
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-16663 (URN)DEMICOM (Local ID)DEMICOM (Archive number)DEMICOM (OAI)
Note

Accepted for publication by Central European Journal of Communication, fall 2012, forthcoming

Available from: 2012-07-18 Created: 2012-07-18 Last updated: 2012-10-26Bibliographically approved

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