Alternative Media Online News during the Covid-19 Pandemic: within a Swedish Context : A comparative content analysis of Alternative Media and Mainstream media newspapers online in Sweden during the coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sammanfattning: Technology has allowed for the ability to create online platforms for sources ofreliable and unreliable news media. It is therefore important to understand the roleand relevance of alternative news media today and how disinformation is spreadonline. In this paper, we will examine the role of alternative news media websites inSweden and how it compares to the mainstream media websites spread of informationduring the coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. We will also explore what thedifference is in their portrayal of events during the coronavirus, and what makes thisdifference appealing to certain readers. Using Google, we searched the top ten articlesfrom four online media news sources. Two of which sources were mainstream mediasources and the other two sources as alternative media. These articles were searchedfor during a specific timeframe and with the keywords such as “Corona” and “Covid19”. The dates for the timeframe of this experiment come from when the coronavirusbroke out in Sweden to one year after the event occurred. The top ten search resultsfrom each news source, as provided to us by Google’s algorithm, were placedthrough a text analysis tool called Voyant. The data findings are presented in threeformats: a Word Cloud, TermsBerry and Distinctive Words Comparison. The resultsof the experiment show a stark contrast in the difference in reporting on thecoronavirus topic between different online newspaper media, specifically alternativemedia news sources. Further research is recommended on a larger scale within thetopic of online alternative media.
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