, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 121–132 | Cite as

Framing Environmental Risks in the Baltic Sea: A News Media Analysis

  • Anna Maria Jönsson


Scientific complexity and uncertainty is a key challenge for environmental risk governance and to understand how risks are framed and communicated is of utmost importance. The Baltic Sea ecosystem is stressed and exposed to different risks like eutrophication, overfishing, and hazardous chemicals. Based on an analysis of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, this study discusses media representations of these risks. The results show that the reporting on the Baltic Sea has been fairly stable since the beginning of the 1990s. Many articles acknowledge several risks, but eutrophication receives the most attention and is also considered the biggest threat. Authorities, experts, organizations, and politicians are the dominating actors, while citizens and industry representatives are more or less invisible. Eutrophication is not framed in terms of uncertainty concerning the risk and consequences, but rather in terms of main causes.


Baltic Sea Complexity Framing News media Risk Uncertainty 



Financial support has been received from the Joint Baltic Sea Research Program BONUS+, and the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies. Great thanks also go to two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Culture and CommunicationSödertörn UniversityHuddingeSweden

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