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Europa norrifrån: en nordisk komparativ studie av europeisk politisk kommunikation
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Culture and Media.
2001 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study examines the European coverage in four leading Nordic newspapers during two periods in 1993 and in 1996. During the first period, three countries were negotiating for membership in the European Union. During the second period, work on a new European Constitution was ongoing, to be negotiated by the Intergovernmental Conference at the end of the period. Two of the applicant countries, Finland and Sweden, were then members of the union since Jan 1, 1995. Voters in the third country, Norway, opted to stay outside the union. Norway is, however closely linked to the union by the previous EEA agreement. Finally, the fourth country, Denmark, had limited its longstanding membership in four important areas.

Results of the main study in 1993 indicate a great difference in the degree of Europeanness of the coverage of European affairs, as indicated by the share of European issues, sources, players, institutions etc. The Danish paper, the Politiken, was on all counts genuinely European in its coverage. This could, to begin with, be understood in terms of a relational context - Denmark was a member of the European Community, the other countries were not.

In 1996, as could be expected, the Norwegian paper, the Aftenposten, reduced its coverage of European affairs to about half the previous volume, the Finnish and Swedish papers, the Hufvudstadsbladet and the Dagens Nyheter, increased their volumes to new highs. The Danish paper maintained its previously comparatively high volume of European coverage, and was still distinctly more European in its outlook on transnational politics. This could be understood in terms of a new Maturity proposition - it may take a long time for the national media to come to terms with a new political environment. The study also puts forward the proposition that Danish political culture requires a different coverage of European affairs, and also requires an opportunity to discuss and evaluate European politics.

On a theoretical level, the study supports the idea that national experience, historical and relational contexts influence media content. National agendas powerfully determine the orientation of transnational political communication .

Three in-depth studies by and large confirm results from the content analysis. A separate exercise inspired by Grounded Theory gives rise to three theoretical concepts that seem to be fundamental dimensions of European political communication:

  • Legitimacy (media coverage contributes to status conferral and encourages deliberation of cooperation as an idea),
  • Participation (media coverage as expressions of intrinsical and instrumental motives for joining and taking responsibility towards European cooperation), and
  • Mondialization/Universalism (media coverage of Europe's efforts in the global arena)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2001. , 514 p.
Keyword [en]
political communication, framing, comparative studies, content analysis, grounded theory, newspapers, theory of content, domestication, journalism, Nordic countries, European Union, European foreign policy, European environmental policy, European Monetary Union
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-59863ISBN: 91-7305-073-3OAI: diva2:556962
Public defence
2001-09-28, Humanisthuset, hörsal F, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00
Available from: 2012-09-26 Created: 2012-09-26 Last updated: 2013-06-26Bibliographically approved

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