New study: Common working people less visible in Norwegian media

A new study shows that ordinary Norwegian workers in the construction industry and the health and care sector are less visible in today’s media picture than 20 years ago.

Media researchers Elisabeth Eide and Tine Ustad Figenschou have gone through a quarterly issue of Dagens Næringsliv, Aftenposten, VG, Dagsavisen and Klassekampen during the periods 1996-1997, 2006-2007 and 2016-2017.

In the sample from the 1990s, Norwegian daily newspapers had 249 articles on the two sectors, while in 2016-2017 had fallen to 132, Klassekampen writes. The decline was greatest in Aftenposten and VG.

“It is easy to think that many newspaper editions have a typical” middle class moment “on the world, and then it is natural that it affects what journalists regard as important, Figenschou believes.

She gets support from her colleague.

– The news coverage helps to set the political agenda. Therefore, it is worrying that less is written about the working conditions of those who are on the “floor”.

The researchers also point out that the two sectors are strongly gender divided, in addition to a high proportion of employees with minority backgrounds.

If the class perspective disappears from the media coverage, it will have consequences, says Eide.

– Then the working life issues are easy to get into the background, in favor of more conflict-oriented perspectives such as on immigration issues, identity and culture, she says to the newspaper.

(© NTB)

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