Coverage of a specific issue may reveal more general aspects of the place of journalism in a society, claim Alessio Cornia and Paolo Mancini of Università di Perugia, and Marina Ghersetti and Tomas Odén of University of Gothenburg. Their recent paper, titled The Partisans, the Technocrats and the Watchdogs: Domestication in media coverage of the swine flu pandemic in 2009, was published recently in Journalism Studies.
Cornia, Mancini, Ghersetti and Odén analysed the coverage of swine flu in Sweden, Italy, and the United Kingdom. They note that the coverage reveals especially distinct notions of professionalism adopted by journalists and the links between journalism and the political culture of a country.
Moreover, the differences in coverage reveals different interpretations of professional journalism.
In Italian and British newspapers, the swine flu issue assumed political colours, and Swedish newspapers were more focused on the technical dimensions of the issue and renounced scrutinising the authorities’ choices.
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