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Audience comments, racism and Sami
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1776-3712
2018 (English)In: Diaspora and Media Working Group: Abstracts of papers presented at the annual conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, 2018, p. 7-7, article id 18285Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Sami are indigenous people living in northern Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia. The population is estimated as 20 000-40 000 people in Sweden, 50 000-65 000 in Norway, ca 8000 in Finland, and ca 2000 in Russia. There are several Sami languages: Northern Sami with its ca 17 000 speakers is the largest, whereas the other languages have only a few hundred speakers each.

This study compares audience/reader comments written for Sami related topics in majority and minority media. The material covers comments for both Northern regional newspapers, and Sami public service broadcasters. Newspaper comments were posted in 2012-2013, just before the newspapers closed anonymous commenting option. Johansson-Lönn (2014) has analysed the news stories but not the comments. SR Sameradion and SVT Oddasat target primarily Sami (speaking) audience. In spring 2017, they run a hashtag campaign, encompassing several interviews covering both personal experiences and expert opinions of everyday racism. These stories were also shared and commented on Facebook. The audience was asked to contribute with their own stories via #everydayracismagainstsami. Musician Sofia Jannok participated in the hashtag campaign via Sami broadcasters and her own Facebook fanpage. Those comments are included as well. In late 2017, UR (educational channel) aired a 3-part series covering Sami history, which is also a story of the Swedish state's expansion to Sami Homeland (Sapmi), including racism and discrimination. The series is available on UR Play and each episode was shared and commented on Facebook. The mentioned social media pages are open and public, but require login to Facebook or Twitter.

It is therefore interesting see if there is a difference between comments made for stories told from majority and Sami point of view, and if there is a difference between anonymous and non- anonymous comments. The method used is connected concept analysis based on the idea of distant reading (Lindgren 2012). The tool used is Textometrica developed by Lindgren and HumLab at Umeå University.

In newspapers CCA identifies two key nodal concepts: predators and reindeers. The main fault lines go between “wolf-positive” and “kill-them” attitudes, and between positive and negative attitudes to Sami reindeer herders. Content in public service broadcasters is per definition Sami focused, which is reflected in the comments. Thus the organizing key node is Sami, relating to minor nodal concepts of culture, racism, and Swedes. UR series’ third episode covers Swedish race biologists' scull measuring trips to Sapmi, which created a long discussion, finally ending to Hitler and Nazis. Reindeer herding is here more peripheral theme as there is more focus on language and other cultural aspects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 7-7, article id 18285
Keywords [en]
reader comments, social media, everyday racism, Sami people
National Category
Media Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158543OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-158543DiVA, id: diva2:1313013
Conference
IAMCR 2018, Eugene, Oregon, USA, June 20–24, 2018
Available from: 2019-05-02 Created: 2019-05-02 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Ellefson, Merja

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Citation style
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