Title: Frames of the terrorist attack in Sweden: a qualitative study of true and fake news coverage

Authors: Alexander Thielen; Åke Sivertun; Peder Hyllengren; Aida Alvinius

Addresses: Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership, Swedish Defence University, The Centre for Leadership Studies, SE651 80 Karlstad, Sweden ' Department of Systems Science for Defence and Security, Swedish Defence University, SE115 93 Stockholm, Sweden ' Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership, The Centre for Leadership Studies, SE651 80 Karlstad, Sweden ' Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership, The Centre for Leadership Studies, SE651 80 Karlstad, Sweden

Abstract: On 7 April, 2017 a terrorist attack occurred, in central Stockholm. A hijacked lorry was intentionally driven into crowds along a pedestrian street. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore how media framed this terrorist attack. The data collection approach was inductive and explorative mainly involving searching electronic media databases. The qualitative analysis of 1294 articles resulted in four overarching themes describing how the terrorist attack was framed in the media. These frames are as follows: the incident, framed as confirmed, unconfirmed and denied information; the perception of leadership and authorities as trustworthy; the site perceived as a place of sorrow; and crisis management framed as the initial and sequential framing of the professionals, the heroes and the villains. The primary conclusion is that true as well as fake news affects crisis management and public opinion, which may create challenges for the entire society within the crisis management area.

Keywords: terrorist attack; media; fake news; Sweden; crisis management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2019.102309

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2019 Vol.15 No.3, pp.205 - 220

Available online: 09 Sep 2019 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article