Newspaper coverage of TTIP: A comparative case-study of the differences between how TTIP was presented in German and Swedish papers

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Germany is generally considered to be a country that is free trade friendly and had, at the start of the TTIP negotiations, a majority in favour of TTIP. Now however, Germany has amongst the lowest levels of public support of TTIP of all EU member states, while a majority at the same time remain positive of international trade and even increased trade with the US. Previous studies have shown that newspapers can have a significant influence on public opinion. This thesis therefore examines whether how newspapers in Germany discussed TTIP differs compared to the representation of TTIP in Swedish papers (since Sweden is a free trade friendly country that has a majority in favour of TTIP) during 2013-2014, and whether such a difference might be a possible explanation for the inconsistency in the German public’s opinions on TTIP and trade. This paper found that there were significant differences in how the papers in Germany and Sweden reported on TTIP, in terms of agenda-setting and frame-setting, that seem to support previous studies on newspaper influence, and thus likely played a role of influencing the public perception of TTIP in a more negative direction in Germany.

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