The unfair representation of Neurodevelopmental disorders : A quantitative content analysis of the representation of neurodevelopmental disorders in Swedish news media

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Karlstads universitet

Sammanfattning: Purpose: This study aimed to investigate how neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs) are represented in the Swedish news media. The study can contribute to gaining more excellent knowledge about how Swedish news media such as Dagens Nyheter (DN) and Expressen represent disabilities such as NDs. Theory: To carry out the study, we must present theoretical starting points. The study was based on the power of journalism, representation, media representation, framing theory, and stereotypes. The power of journalism is used to explain how powerful the media is. Representation and media representation is used to describe how things make sense. Framing theory is used to describe the effect of the media on people because, according to the theory, people always try to create meaning. Finally, stereotypes are used to explain how NDs are perceived in society. Previous research: Previous research has been used to motivate studies that have previously been used on the subject and then linked to our study. The study used health communication and journalism, news media (daily- and evening newspapers), and gender as in previous research. Health communication and journalism explain how vital health-related information is to society. News media are used to create an in-depth understanding of NDs while discussing the difference between daily- and evening newspapers to understand them. Finally, studies on gender are used to explain gender differences and inequalities between the genders. Method: The study was carried out with the help of a quantitative content analysis, where the Swedish news sites DN and Expressen were analyzed by searching for news about various NDs; ADHD, ADD, ASD, Autism, Asperger's, and Tourettes. A total of 190 articles from both news sites were included—123 articles from Expressen and 67 from DN. A time frame has been set within one year, from 8 March 2021 to 8 March 2022. To obtain the survey results, the SPSS program has been used where it was prepared before the study with knowledge of statistical analysis—then prepared variables and variable values to be used in SPSS to make the study feasible. Results: The results were presented by comparing relevant variables in the SPSS software for later analysis. Variables such as "NDs diagnoses," "NDs main or secondary subject," "emotional or non-emotional," and "newspaper." Detailed analysis and discussion were performed of the results of the variables examined. The analysis was based on relevant previous research and theories related to news media, representation, and NDs. Conclusion: Journalists significantly influence how the reader perceives, interprets, and forms opinions. Therefore, the representation of NDs by both the news sites, DN and Expressen, can lead the reader to create stereotypical images about NDs. Individuals with NDs may be discriminated against because of the stereotypes that have been created about them. They can also be exposed to misunderstandings of the environment because they do not behave the same way society expects. The two news pages examined represent NDs differently in that DN is classified as a daily newspaper and Expressen is classified as an evening newspaper. The different diagnoses within NDs are represented differently in the articles. Finally, female journalists try to counter stereotypes about women with NDs. Many articles written by female journalists are about publishing their stories and encouraging others to seek help. In contrast, articles written by male journalists are often about men with NDs, whereas articles are often about crime and sports, which they are also often associated with.

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