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Voice of the People or Voice of the Media?: Polls and the Media in Sweden, 1998-2006
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media. (Demokratiinstitutet Demicom)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5964-102X
2008 (English)In: American Political Science Association’s Annual Conference, 2008Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The histories of opinion polling and the Swedish news media have been closely intertwined ever since the first polling firm was established in Sweden in 1941. Although the news me-dia’s interest in opinion polls has fluctuated over the years, there is no doubt that opinion polls are considered highly newsworthy. This is particularly true during election campaigns. In the Swedish case, research suggests that the majority of polls regarding party preferences are commissioned by the news media. Thus, with respect to this kind of polls, the media play a triple role: they commission the polls, report them and then interpret the results. The ques-tion is how well the media perform these roles, and the extent to which the Swedish news media use polls to give voice to the people – or to enable journalists to play a quasi-objective but active role in the political communication processes.Against this background, this paper will investigate the publication of opinion polls in the Swedish news media during the last three general election campaigns. The study includes the four most prominent newspapers and the three most prominent TV news shows. Among the empirical questions being investigated are: how many polls were reported in the various news media in 1998, 2002 and 2006; to what extent did the media comply with the “Esomar International Code of Practice for the Publication of Public Opinion Poll Results”; what was the object of the published opinion polls, and to what extent do the publication of opinion polls correlate with the framing of politics as a strategic game and with an interpretive rather than descriptive journalistic style. The empirical results will be used to analyze the extent to which the news media use opinion polls as a means to giving voice to the people – or to the media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008.
Keyword
Opinion polls, opinion formation, political news journalism
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-7562Local ID: DEMICOMOAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-7562DiVA: diva2:127712
Available from: 2008-12-10 Created: 2008-12-10 Last updated: 2014-05-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf