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Weeds in the Hegemony: Understanding Journalism on the Renegotiation of Cannabis
Högskolan i Jönköping, Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, HLK, Lärandepraktiker i och utanför skolan (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU). Högskolan i Jönköping, Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, HLK, Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-9515-4691
2018 (engelsk)Konferansepaper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

We are witnessing the renegotiation of cannabis substances in many parts of the world. After being classified as narcotics and subjected to a worldwide ban for several decades, cannabis has now been legalized in Uruguay and in several US states, and decriminalized in some other countries. This paper aims to study how the ongoing renegotiation of cannabis, which involves the legalization of the substance in different parts of the world, is constructed in Swedish print news journalism. This is done with the purpose of understanding how news journalism in a context of a traditionally strong drug prohibition (de)legitimizes different positions and perspectives in the ongoing renegotiation of cannabis, and to what extent journalism in such a context offers challenges to the reigning prohibitionist hegemony. Although cannabis and the media has been researched extensively, very few studies have been conducted by media and communication or journalism scholars, and contributions have been placed mainly in areas as for example drug policy, drug use and misuse, and public health. The current study, in contrast, wishes to contribute to the critical study of drug journalism. The paper draws on critical theory, understanding the ongoing renegotiation of cannabis as bringing disequilibrium to the hegemonic view of cannabis as dangerous drug that needs to be banned. Journalism is perceived as playing a key role in this context, since journalism is an arena where different discourses on cannabis struggle for prominence. Journalism can in this sense serve the strengthening of counter-hegemonic discourses on cannabis or the reinforcement of the prohibitionist hegemony. The study uses critical discourse analysis as a method to study 49 print newspaper items. The results show that the studied media invites opposed discourses regarding the health risks and the medical benefits of cannabis to be part of the news pages, which creates a somewhat pluralistic view on cannabis. The study also finds that the construction of cannabis legalization as a means to combat organized crime is given significant framing power. These results suggest that the ongoing renegotiation of cannabis in different parts of the world invites Swedish journalism to broaden the debate on the substance and to provide certain legitimacy to positive discourses on cannabis that are otherwise considered deviant in the Swedish drug debate. This serves as an example of how changes in distant political contexts affect the ways in which journalism ascribes legitimacy to specific discourses on drugs.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2018.
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-42057OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-42057DiVA, id: diva2:1264194
Konferanse
7th European Communication Conference (ECC 2018), October 31 - November 3, 2018, Lugano, Switzerland
Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-11-19 Laget: 2018-11-19 Sist oppdatert: 2018-11-20bibliografisk kontrollert

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