Policy failure or moral scandal? Political accountability, journalism and new public management

TitlePolicy failure or moral scandal? Political accountability, journalism and new public management
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Ekström, M., M. Djerf-Pierre, and B. Johansson
Affiliation (1st Author)University of Gothenburg
Section or WGPolitical Communication Research Section
DateSat 29 June
Slot CodePOLS1a
Slot Code (Keyword)POLS1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
RoomHG22
Session TitlePolitics and media interplays
Submission ID5002
Abstract

Political accountability is fundamental in a democratic society. Societal changes such as the marketization of the public sector have, however, made accountability issues complex and negotiable. The questions of who is to be held to account for policy failures are increasingly a subject of struggle within the media.The aim of this paper is to examine how journalism does “accountability work” in a political setting marked by new public management.The empirical study focuses on an example of intensive news coverage on mistreatments of elderly in private health-care, in Sweden, 2011. A corpus of 156 news items is analyzed. The analyses focus on the use of accountability interviews, and how journalism constructs boundaries of political accountability by framing social problems.In general the study shows that the political accountability work carried out was weak and restricted, the problems were constructed as a moral scandal instead of a policy failure.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer