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The development of news management in the public sector: A survey of social services, schools and the police
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9457-0335
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4540-5373
2015 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, organizations within the public sector have become increasingly attentive to how they are perceived by the public. Professional news management is primarily associated with the private sector, where the rationale has been to maximize profit and market value. For organizations under democratic authority, the ultimate goals are different. The aim of this paper is to describe and compare news management in three types of public sector organizations: schools, the police and social services. The three types of organizations are chosen because of differences in that might potentially affect news management. The paper draws on data from a national survey of all 21 Swedish county police authorities and a stratified randomized sample of municipal school and social service administrations, which represents all 290 Swedish municipalities. Data are analyzed in terms of personnel and activities. With the exception of a couple of small municipalities, all organizations do have a an organizational foundation for media relations, often as a distinct organizational unit with specialized staff. The police authorities stand out in having implemented more developed strategies. The school administrations tend to be somewhat more active in their media relations than social services. Differences between the types of organizations are discussed in terms of variation in organizational conditions for news management. The reason why the police stands out as more strategic can be attributed to a higher newsworthiness, higher public visibility, less strict secrecy rules and a more distinct mission that is easier to asses. We conclude that conditions relating to public interests have the most impact on the formation of news management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
news management, public sector, transparency, social work, school, police, public relations
National Category
Media and Communications Sociology
Research subject
medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap; Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95314OAI: diva2:758355
The International Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance (ICMLG)
Mellan organisatoriskt egenintresse och offentlig insyn - mediehantering i socialtjänst, polis och skola
Swedish Research Council, 421-2011-2172
Available from: 2014-10-27 Created: 2014-10-27 Last updated: 2014-10-30Bibliographically approved

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Öhman, AdamEnbom, JesperSjöström, Stefan
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Department of culture and media studiesDepartment of Social Work
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