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The media and the tsunami catastrophe


The main research project about the tsunami catastrophe consists of the following two smaller projects:

The children and the tsunami catastrophe

The study analyses how children were treated in the news coverage of the tsunami catastrophe that occurred on 26 December 2004.

The content of the following Swedish newspapers and news programmes published from 26 December 2004 to 25 January 2005 was analysed: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet, Expressen, Kamratposten, Rapport, Aktuellt, TV4 Nyheterna, Lilla Aktuellt and Dagens Eko. The questions that were addressed include how often children were the main focus of the coverage and in which contexts, to what extent they were able to talk about their experiences in their own words and how they were portrayed when photographed or filmed.

Swedish media and the tsunami catastrophe

The tsunami in Southeast Asia on 26 December 2004 was very traumatic to thousands of Swedish citizens. More than 500 Swedes died in the catastrophe, and many thousands were victimised indirectly. Despite the fact that the catastrophe occurred during the Christmas holiday (26 December is a public holiday in Sweden), Swedish media responded very quickly. Several media reported about the tsunami within a few hours, and within another few hours several reporters and photographers were literally on their way to the affected areas. Over the next few weeks, the tsunami catastrophe dominated the Swedish media reporting more than any other event has in modern history.

The study analysed how the large Swedish news media handled the situation, which resources they allocated and which events and individuals they chose to include in their reports. The massive criticism of the Swedish government and the involved government agencies, mostly due to their inability to quickly extend a helping hand to the victims, was also investigated.

The project comprised an extensive content analysis of how the largest Swedish news media covered the tsunami catastrophe in the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 and an analysis, based on interviews, of the organisation and behaviour in the newsrooms in connection with the catastrophe.

The content of the following Swedish newspapers and news programmes published from 26 December 2004 to 25 January 2005 was analysed: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet, Expressen, aftonbladet.se, dn.se, Rapport, Aktuellt, TV4 Nyheterna and Dagens Eko.

Page Manager: Mats Ekström|Last update: 8/14/2013
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