En mångfacetterad image

En kvantitativ innehållsanalys om Sverigebildens förändring i amerikansk press utifrån politiska frågor

This bachelor thesis asks the question of how is Sweden portrayed in three of the most influential American newspapers in three important political issues? This is done because there are reasons to believe that the international image of Sweden has been changed in certain aspects. The three political questions we have chosen to look closer into here are immigration, welfare and crime. We have studied if a number of articles has changed, who gets to make statements and if the reporting is in a positive or negative manner.

Through a quantitative analysis many articles published in the last ten years have been read and analysed. The articles were chosen because they contain the word “Sweden” and one of the search words “Immigration”,” Welfare” or “Crime”. The articles were original published in the three newspapers The New York Times, Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

The results show as suspected that the number of articles has increased in the last ten years. The largest increase has been observed in the political issues of immigration and crime but there has also been an increase in the welfare issue. A lot of articles have been published in years where large news events occurred, related to our subjects. Two examples are the migration crisis of 2015 and Donald Trumps statement about “Last night in Sweden”.

The results also show that the articles about immigration and crime are most cases written without positive or negative judgement. When the articles have contained judgement it has under immigration been as much positive as it has been negative. In articles with crime however the judgement has been mostly critical. Articles with the word welfare contain judgements in the majority of cases and the judgement has been equally positive and negative.

On the question of who is allowed to make statements in articles where Sweden is present it has been observed that it is mostly journalists/writers, politicians and experts who make statements. Few of the articles had a Swede make a statement.

The image of Sweden is a complex and multifaceted thing. If the image presented is fair or not depends on who you ask. However, our research shows that in most cases the newspapers themselves do not make judgement when reporting about Sweden. It is however a big possibility that when you constantly appear in certain context that this will change how the subject is viewed as stated by framing theory.

Richard Lagerström, Robert Lundberg & Alicia Nilsson
Journalist, Journalistikgranskning , vt19
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