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Meeting the Good Other: Proper distance and the representation of José Mujica in Swedish feature journalism
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9515-4691
2019 (English)In: Iberoamericana: Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, E-ISSN 2002-4509, Vol. 48, no 1, p. 150-160Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the representation of the then president of Uruguay, José Mujica, in a long-read feature story published in the Saturday supplement of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. This is done with the aim of contributing to the understanding of how international journalism constructs distance and proximity in the reporting of distant subjects, and more specifically, how such constructions connect the Swedish audience to (or disconnect it from) political processes and relations in Latin America. In this way, the study contributes to the field of media representation in general, as well as to research on the representation of Latin America, more specifically. Critical discourse analysis is used to analyze the text and visuals. Three result topics are presented. The first comprises discourses that construct difference, such as those highlighting personal characteristics that make Mujica different from other presidents. The second centers on discourses that construct proximity between Mujica and the audience, such as those addressing sustainability and the connections between Sweden, Uruguay and Mujica. The third highlights discourses that distance or downplay difference and revolve around constructions about Mujica’s political past. The paper ends with a discussion of how this representation is able to construct Mujica as a close other without, in the process, abandoning key tenets of contemporary capitalist ideology.

Abstract [es]

Este artículo estudia la representación del expresidente uruguayo José Mujica, en un reportaje publicado en el suplemento sabateño del diario sueco Dagens Nyheter. El estudio tiene el propósito de contribuir al entendimiento sobre como el periodismo internacional construye distancia y proximidad en el informe sobre sujetos lejanos y, específicamente, como este tipo de construcciones (des)conectan al público sueco a procesos y relaciones latinoamericanas. Por lo tanto, este estudio contribuye a la investigación sobre la representación mediática en general, y también, específicamente, al estudio sobre la representación de Latinoamérica. El estudio utiliza análisis crítico del discurso para analizar elementos textuales y visuales y presenta tres temas de resultados. El primero es compuesto por discursos que construyen diferencia, como son los que enfocan características personales que diferencian a Mujica de otros presidentes. El segundo tema se centra en discursos que construyen proximidad entre Mujica y los lectores suecos, como temas sobre sostenibilidad y la conexión entre ambos países. El tercer tema se centra en discursos que distancian o atenúan diferencias que hay entre Mujica y el contexto sueco, así como el pasado político del expresidente. El estudio finaliza discutiendo como la representación analizada logra construir a Mujica como un ‘otro’ bueno, sin que se abandonen principios ideológicos del capitalismo contemporáneo.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm University Press, 2019. Vol. 48, no 1, p. 150-160
Keywords [en]
Feature journalism, ideology, José Mujica, proper distance, representation, Uruguay
Keywords [es]
Ideología; José Mujica; Latinoamérica; Periodismo; Representación; Uruguay
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47256DOI: 10.16993/iberoamericana.473Local ID: POA HLK 2019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-47256DiVA, id: diva2:1383291
Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-01-07

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Abalo, Ernesto

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