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  • Author: Sigurd Allern x
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Abstract

Mediated descriptions of reality are tremendously important to the way the public - and policymakers - perceive the police. The present article analyses how leading news outlets reported and commented on complaints against the Norwegian police during the period 2005-2008. The study is based on content analyses of press and television coverage, with special emphasis on a publicly debated police action in which a student of African origins lost his life. In most cases, news coverage of the police and the investigators of the police is event-driven, and the picture of the police seldom points to institutional or organizational problems. The story is too often one about individual wrongdoings alone. Unfortunately, such media pictures matter and influence policy decisions, especially when they become the point of departure for political debate

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Abstract

How does television cover foreign news? What is covered and how? The present article reports on a comparative study of a license-financed public broadcaster and an advertising-financed channel in Norway – the NRK and TV2, respectively. Both channels give priority to international news. While the NRK devotes more time to foreign news (both in absolute and relative numbers) than TV2 does, other aspects of the coverage are strikingly similar: The news is event oriented, there is heavy use of eyewitness footage, and certain regions are hardly visible. At least three explanations can be used to understand these findings: the technological platform (what footage is available, etc.) and the existence of a common news culture that is based on ratings and similar views on what is considered “good television”. A third factor is that both channels still have public service obligations.