I populismens farvatten

Samtalsanalys av mediepopulism hos journalister i SVT:s

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Title: I populismens farvatten
Authors: Andreas Andersson, Peter Karlberg & Harald Vedin Sjötröm
Level: Bachelor’s thesis in journalism
Term: HT 2022
Supervisor: Annika Bergström
Keywords: Populism, Media populism, News interviews, Neutrality, Journalism

Aim of thesis:
This thesis seeks to study the occurrence of media populism in Sweden’s television’s (SVT) party leader questionings leading up to the 2022 Swedish parliamentary election. The main question we seek to answer is: Are there elements of a populist interview style in the party
leader questionings?

Theoretical framework:
The main framework used in this thesis is based on Benjamin Moffitt’s (2016) definition of populism as a political style. This definition contains three main features; an appeal to “the people” versus “the elite”, Bad manners, and Crisis, Breakdown and Threat. This framework is further complemented by the ways Steven Clayman (1988) identified that journalists display neutrality in interviews.

The central method used to analyze the questionings is conversation analysis. This way it is possible to examine each of the episodes and see to what extent different central aspects of populism as a political style appear, and in what context.

The results of the study show that each of the three features of populism as a political style appear in the questionings, but not to a large enough extent to claim that the questionings overall are populist in nature. It also appears that the times that an appeal to “the people” versus “the elite” and to “crisis, breakdown and threat” often are used to preface questions for the party leaders. However, further and wider research in the subject is required to draw more reliable conclusions.

Andreas Andersson, Peter Karlberg, Harald Vedin Sjöström
Journalist, Journalistikgranskning , ht22
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