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The Autonomy of Scandinavian Public Service Broadcasters During Election Campaign Periods Principles and Practices

By Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud


This comparative case study explores the formal and informal principles governing election formats produced by the public service broadcasters in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The focus is on external regulation vs. journalistic autonomy and on principles of balance and access. The conclusion is that the Scandinavian broadcasters, to a larger extent than broadcasters in other Western countries, independently control the form and content of their election formats. This journalistic autonomy, however, has brought about election formats governed by different principles of access. The Danish and Swedish formats are based on a moderate stopwatch logic, whereas the election formats in Norway center on criteria of audience appeal, resulting in a model of access disproportionately favoring certain political parties. The high degree of journalistic control of election formats in Scandinavia, paired with the low control of political parties encourage a discussion of some of the central premises in the Democratic Corporatist Model

Topics: election coverage, regulation, journalistic autonomy, broadcasters, models of media and politics
Publisher: Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordicom
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.2478/nor-2013-0043
OAI identifier:

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