Har du hört om Angered?
En kvantitativ studie av hur ökad redaktionell närvaro påverkar nyhetsrapporteringen om en förort
A little more than one year ago, the local broadcast media SVT Nyheter Väst established a local editorial office in the suburb Angered outside central Gothenburg. The reason, according to SVT Nyheter Väst, was a will to improve their reporting about these suburb-areas included in their broadcast-area. They wanted to report about Angered and its surrounding areas in a more multifaceted way. Our aim with this study was to investigate how the news from SVT Nyheter Väst about Angered changed over time. We wanted to compare the news, concerning its character and amount, before and after the opening of the local office.
One important aspect concerning which happenings that become news and which happenings that do not, is the geographical distance to the happening. The less geographical distance, the more likely that the happening becomes a news story. In this study, we wanted to see if the presence of SVT Nyheter Väst in Angered affected the news from Angered and its surrounding areas in terms of their character and amount. Hence, we studied the broadcasts news from SVT Nyheter Väst from a period of time before the establishment of the local office in Angered and from the same period one year later, after the establishment of the office. We analyzed 30 of SVT Nyheter Västs broadcasts by using the method of quantitative content analysis. The broadcasts were randomly picked from a period of two months. They included 15 broadcasts from December 2015 to January 2016 and 15 broadcasts from the same period one year later, December 2016 to January 2017. The theories that we have used when analyzing our results are the theory of news values, the framing theory, framing and the theory of orientalism.
The results seem to show that the news from SVT Nyheter Väst about Angered and its surrounding areas are few. Five percent of all of the news that we analyzed were from and about Angered and surrounding areas. When we compared the period before the establishment of the local office with the period after the establishment, the results indicated that the amount of news from Angered and surrounding areas were less after than before the establishment. 70 percent of all news from Angered and surrounding areas that we analyzed were broadcasted from the period before the establishment and the rest 30 percent were broadcasted after. The results indicated that the head topics of these news never were about crime or accidents, which is the most common subjects in the overall news according to Hvitfelt (1985) and Ghersetti (2012). Instead, the head topics seemed to be about integration, care, school and culture. The results also indicated a difference in the character of the news from Angered and surrounding areas comparing the periods before and after the establishment of the local office. After SVT Nyheter Väst established the local office in Angered, the news about the area seemed to be portrayed in a less negative way. Further, we noticed that after the establishment of the local office, the news from Angered and its surrounding areas appeared to be described from a within-perspective more often than were the news from the period before.
The presence of an editorial office in Angered, and the reduced geographical distance between the editorial office and the area that the journalists at the office are intended to cover, seem not to increase the amount of the news from Angered and its surroundings.
Instead, our results indicate that the presence of an editorial office in a specific area seems to influence the news from that area in terms of their character.
The news from Angered and its surrounding areas that we analyzed also seemed to differ in many ways from the rest of the news from SVT Nyheter Väst, as well in terms of the head topics of the news and amount as in what way they were portrayed. This tendency appeared to pertain for both periods, as well before the establishment of the local office in Angered as after.
Keywords: editorial presence, geographical distance, local journalism, suburb, suburban (news)reporting.
Nyckelord: redaktionell närvaro/närhet, geografiskt avstånd/närhet, lokaljournalistik, förort, förortsrapportering.