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Media and the psychiatry

Over the years, there have been many reasons for media to focus on the provision of care and support to people with mental illnesses. The mental asylums have been closed, the municipal governments have been given increased responsibility and several violent crimes linked to mental illness have received a great deal of attention, for example in 2003 when Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs was murdered in the midst of the election campaign.

Media is an important source of information regarding social issues and important events. If an issue is given media attention, people tend to see it as important. The way in which an issue is presented affects how it is perceived.

The main purpose of Ann-Sofi Magnusson's thesis Bilden av psykiatriområdet is to describe and analyse the Swedish news coverage of the psychiatric field from a broad and long-term perspective and against the background of the changes made in this area. Aspects affecting the news reporting will also be addressed, as well as the attitudes of journalists and the public towards the psychiatric field. The results will then be used in a discussion on the relevance of the news reporting for the individual and society at large.

The news coverage is studied based on content analysis of the Swedish public broadcaster SVT’s news programme Rapport 1980-2006. The empirical material will also include interviews with journalists and questionnaire surveys conducted at the University of Gothenburg (the SOM Institute and JMG) in order to compare the views of journalists and the public regarding the area of psychiatry.

Page Manager: Mats Ekström|Last update: 7/22/2011

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