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Om gestaltningen i nyhetsrapporteringen av självständighetsrörelsen i Katalonien

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On October 1 2017 the citizens in the region of Catalonia held a referendum on independence from Spain, which was declared illegal by the Spanish government. On October 27 2017 the regional government of Catalonia declared independence. This made the Spanish government in Madrid activate article 155 in the national constitution, which gave them the power to set aside the regional government in Catalonia and take control over the region.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the framing of the independence movement in Catalonia during the fall of 2017 in three large news outlets in Sweden; Aftonbladet, SVT Nyheter and Dagens Nyheter. We investigated the prevalence of six generic frames described in previous research on framing of political events; attribution of responsibility, conflict, human interest, economic consequences, morality and game. We performed a random sample and applied a quantitative content analysis on 60 news stories published online. We also designed an assay to implement a qualitative text analysis based on previous research.

The main findings in this study show that, overall, the conflict frame was the most commonly used in the news published online by the three news outlets. It was closely followed by the attribution of responsibility, game, human interest, economic consequences and morality frames, respectively. The framing did not vary much between the different news outlets, and confirmed results in earlier studies. The most significant difference was found when the human interest frame was implemented. Previous studies showed that more sensationalist news outlets often times used the human interest frame to a larger extent than the more serious ones in political news stories. Our results implied the opposite in this case. Aftonbladet, which is a more sensationalist news outlet, used the human interest frame less than the more serious and sober news outlet Dagens Nyheter.

Based on the qualitative text analysis we found that the expression of some of the generic frames differed between the three news outlets. In the attribution of responsibility we found that the ex-regional president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, was often times held responsible for the independence movement. In the conflict frame we found that the conflict was regularly expressed in the form of the management of the Spanish government, rather than the actions of the regional government of Catalonia.

Oscar Barragan & Gustav Påhlsson
Journalist, Journalistikgranskning , vt18
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