Media and morality. How the Swedish press deals with social order when it comes to drug abuse in sport.
What do the media tell us about norms and morality? What behavior is described as the right way to act and what manner is judged to be totally incorrect? What and how do the media report when it comes to transgressions? Questions like these are at focus in my dissertation project in the area of sports, media and social order. One occasion when norms and morality are discussed in the media is when somebody has acted in an unaccepted way. In sports it could be cheating against the rules, fighting, economic misconduct of clubs, corruption and so forth. Drug abuse and doping are one of those areas the media nowadays regularly report upon. The purpose of the study is to describe and attain an understanding of how the Swedish press is dealing with social order in relation to doping or drug abuse in competitive sport. The period of the study is between 1996 and 2004 and includes articles from four Swedish daily newspapers. Nineteen doping cases are included, some of them have not generated so many articles and some of the cases have been huge media scandals. Articles are collected during a period of two weeks for each doping case, beginning the day when the accusation for doping was officially announced for the first time. The total amount of articles is about 1300. I am studying the texts in two ways. A content analysis is used to answer questions about the extent and division of the material, the writers, the types of articles, the actors in the texts and so forth. In a more detailed analysis, questions like these are being investigated: How and what does the press write about doping? How does the press deal with borders and transgressions? What characterizes the narrative design of the material? What does the construction of sports reporting tell us about media and society? The theoretical framework consists of a mix of theories of journalism, norms and aspects of drama.