Contested visibility in public service media
Contested visibility in public service media. Case studies in the main public service broadcasters in Scandinavia. Norway: Postdoc Mona Abdel-Fadil. Denmark: Professor Stig Hjarvard with Mattias Pape Rosenfeldt. Sweden: Professor Mia Lövheim with Linnea Jensdotter.
Norway: The "Cross-Case"
Drawing on the “Cross-Case” of November 2013 when a Norwegian NRK news anchor was prohibited from wearing the cross while presenting the news, this subproject seeks to examine the multiple ways in which users of social media play into the constructions of public religious discourse in connection with mediatized conflicts about religion. The goal is to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the interplay between media and religion, through an in-depth study of audience interactions and the internal dynamics of a particular online milieu. Drawing on rich empirical material from the Norwegian Facebook page: Yes to wearing the cross whenever and wherever I choose, this subproject aims to provide new insights on the multiple ways in which media audiences discuss and shape debates on media and religion. Researcher: Mona Abdel-Fadil.
Denmark: TV-satire challenges traditional framings of religion
This study is concerned with the Danish public service broadcaster Denmark's Radio's (DR) TV satire show "Still Veiled" ["Det Slører Stadig"] (2013) and its influence on public discussions and controversies concerning religion. In "Still Veiled" four female actors with ethnic minority backgrounds address various stereotypes and prejudices flourishing in the ongoing Danish public discourse about Islam, integration and national identity. Focusing on the intense public debates engulfing the TV-show in early 2013 this subproject seeks to map major popular framings of religion. The study seeks a comprehensive overview and traces the debates on different media platforms: broadcast media, daily press and online social media. In addition, the role and self-perception of the public service broadcaster is examined through interviews with central actors in the production of the TV-show.
The project contributes to an in-depth understanding of how preexisting (generic) framings of religion inform public discussions of religion and the potentials of a public service broadcaster like DR to influence and inspire such debate, for instance through generic formats such satire. Researchers: Stig Hjarvard and Mattias Pape Rosenfeldt
Denmark: Challenging a frozen conflict
This study is concerned with the Danish public service broadcaster DR’s TV-documentary series "Rebellion from the Ghetto" ["Oprør fra Ghettoen"](2015), and its influence on public discussions concerning religion. The documentary tells the stories of four ethnic minority youth and their relation to the cultural and religious norms of their parent generation. The documentary generated a varied public debate across media platforms, focusing on controversial topics raised in the documentary, such as concealed love affairs and homosexuality, as well as broader, generic debates such as the role of minority religion in Danish society. The case study explores online and offline debates in order to shed light on the role of the public service broadcaster in generating and moderating debates about religion in the Danish public. Focusing on the transformative character of the debate the analysis aims to demonstrate how generic and ad-hoc framings of religion enter and influence the discussion. Researchers: Stig Hjarvard and Mattias Pape Rosenfeldt
Sweden: "Runda bordet: religion"
This study engages with the question of how public service media across Scandinavia has become involved in mediating conflicts concerning religion’s visibility in social life through the case of the program Runda Bordet: religion broadcasted in the fall of 2014. The research question concerns how the program, as anticipated by the producers, succeeded in constructing a new format for a dialogue rather than conflict-oriented mediated discussion of the public role of religion in Swedish society today. This program will be compared to a previous attempt by Swedish public service television to address similar issues, the program Halal-TV, broadcasted in the fall of 2008. The analysis is based on interviews with the program leader, observations of the broadcasting of the program, and discussions in the press and social media. Researchers: Mia Lövheim and Linnea Jensdotter.
Sweden: "Människor och tro"
This study analyses how the program Människor och tro, a weekly current affairs program focusing on religion in Swedish radio P1, represent Muslims and Islam. The program aspires to represent cultural and religious diversity, counter prejudices and stereotypes and include new and “unexpected” voices. Our analysis focus on how this policy is mirrored in the actual programs sent during January through April 2015 (62 programs), in terms of themes, invited guests and call-in sessions. We will further analyze the postings on Islam at the programs’ Facebook group and twitter account that generate most interaction in terms of sharing and liking. The focus of the analysis will be how Islam is framed in relation to the ongoing discussion about the public role of religion in Swedish society. Researchers: Mia Lövheim and Linnea Jensdotter.
Presentations - Publications
Preliminary results from the case studies were presented in a panel on "Contested visibility and interaction on religion in public service media" at NordMedia 2015 in Copenhagen 13-15 August 2015. See the title of the presentations under Publications.