EU - Bureaukratisk misfoster? Eller enestaaende politisk projekt?

Lars Gram-Hanssen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The aim of this thesis is to analyse how nine Danish newspapers covered EU in their opinion pages, editorials and political cartoons – with a special focus on Brexit. The Danish press system has traditionally been labeled an omnibus press system by media scholars, but it has also been argued that the omnibus system is in the process of being replaced by a segmented press system. This thesis seeks to examine whether this tendency is present in the Brexit-coverage of the nine Danish newspapers in their opinion pages, editorials and political cartoons. This study aims to compare its findings with the results of a study from last year that examined segmentation in the news sections of Danish newspapers. The decision to examine the opinion pages, editorials and political cartoons is based on the view that this type of content is an essential part of newspapers and is often overlooked in studies of newspapers. The analytical approach of this thesis is a combination of quantitative and qualitative content. The theoretical framework of the thesis is based on agenda-setting theory by McCombs, framing theory by Entman and Schultz’ theory on the segmented press system. This thesis has defined a number of frames that the media use to cover Brexit. In the quantitative analysis it is shown that the coverage in the examined newspapers slightly favours frames that represents EU in a positive light. It also shown that the tabloid Ekstra Bladet is the least balanced in their coverage, heavily favouring the negative frames. Also, it is shown that ordinary citizens as a group favours the negative frames, while pundits and politicians favour positive frames. In the qualitative analysis it is shown how the frames are constructed by making some aspects of reality appear more salient, and by selecting some parts of reality and ignoring others. In the discussion chapter it is argued that the Brexit-coverage of the examined newspapers on their opinion pages and in their editorials and political cartoons overall does show a tendency towards a segmented press system. Finally, it is discussed whether the segmented press system is detrimental to the public debate, because of the risk of so-called ‘echo chambers’.

EducationsJournalism, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date1 Jun 2018
Number of pages74
SupervisorsMartine Bentsen