Kampen om dagsordenen: En analyse af hvordan danske dagblade bruger citater af Facebookytringer i den politiske nyhedsformidling

Jesper Boe Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis offers some insight as to how Danish newspapers use quotes from Facebook statements in political news reporting. Hence, I argue that this use can be viewed as part of an ideological battle for the hegemonic power over the political agenda. As part of a recent institutionalization of said agenda, politicians have lost their monopoly of agenda setting and are now forced to share it with the media and others. In order to win back what has been lost, politicians have tried bypassing traditional media, addressing Danes directly via Facebook, so as to avoid critical meddling from e.g. newspapers. But the newspapers have not proved willing to relinquish the power of agenda setting, given to them by the political agenda’s institutionalization. They have, consequently, pushed back by publishing quotes from the politicians’ Facebook pages, allowing them to be discussed, contradicted and edited as is usually done with “ordinary” political statements. This realization that Facebook statements are part of an ideological battle for hegemony allows us to discern some patterns in the newspapers’ use of these statements. For example, it is not in the interest of newspapers to portrait the political debate taking place on Facebook as being substantial or relevant. That would incite readers wishing to participate in the debate to do so on politicians’ Facebook pages, decimating newspapers’ agenda setting potency. For this reason newspapers are most often quoting politicians’ Facebook statements if these are articulating informal, pubertal and personal discourses and have an apolitical content. Furthermore, these quotes are being used in a way, which counters democratization of discourse, insofar as prestigious discourses are being reserved for senior politicians and Facebook statements from ordinary Danes are all but ignored. My analysis finds that the introduction of such discourses into Danish newspapers’ political news reporting alters its order of discourse, merging it with that of Facebook, which is obviously more informal and colloquial. I argue that this development, contrary to what one might think, is not a democratic progress. Thus, it gives people the impression that when reading the newspaper they are participating in a legitimate political discussion when as a matter of fact they are debating topics with no political substance or significance to society, leaving real political power to the politicians and rendering ordinary Danes as marginalized as ever.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages90