Ester Pollack, PhD, is a Professor of Journalism Studies in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University and deputy head of the department. Her research combines sociological and historical perspectives on the relations between two of society’s institutions: journalism and politics. Pollack received her doctorate in 2001 with a thesis on the development of Swedish crime journalism and criminal policy during the 1900s; and has followed up with more recent studies on crime news and the police's role as a news source. Currently she collaborates with criminologists in the project Organized Crime on the Agenda. She has also conducted research on the Swedish media during the second world war, on the so called Moscow trials in the Swedish press during the 1930s, on mediated political scandals in the Nordic countries from 1980s and onward and on the description of the Roma in Swedish press during the last twenty years.

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Research Interests

Pollack’s research covers three different fields: media and crime, journalism's role in the history of politics and political communication. Media and crime concerns the relationships between crime journalism and criminal policy, the interplay between several of society’s institutions, with symbolic and concrete significance when it comes to the legal system. Journalism’s role in the history of politics covers studies on Swedish news reporting about the Soviet Union in the 1930s and about the Holocaust during the Second World War period. In both cases she relates her research to the historical knowledge, reorientation and scientific debate about the course of events in the 1930s and '40s made during the past decade. Finally, her third area of research focuses on political communication: a) journalism and political scandals in the Nordic region, with publications Skandalenes Markedsplass. Politikk, Moral og Mediedrev [2009], SCANDALOUS! The Mediated Construction of Political Scandals in Four Nordic Countries [2012] and "Nordic Political Scandals: frequency, types and Consequences". In Ludwig, M., Schierl, T., & von Sikorski, C. (Eds.) Mediated Scandals - Gründe, Genese und von Folgeeffekte Mediale Skandalberichterstattung. 2016 and Pollack, E "Personalized Scandalization: sensationalizing trivial conflicts?". In Fugl Eskjær, M., Hjarvard, S. & Mortensen (Eds.),* The Dynamics of Mediatized Conflicts* [2015] b) advocacy think tanks in the Nordic region with the publication ”Advocay Think Tanks as News Sources and Agenda Setters” in Politik (with Prof. Sigurd Allern) [2016] c) public relations, journalism, politics and democracy. Among other things, she has studied lobbying as a political impetus and the importance of emerging journalistic cooperation for revealing corruption within international companies. In the field of political communication we have collaborated in a Nordic network of researchers.

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Ongoing Research

During the summer of 2019 I finalized the book "Källkritik! Journalistik i lögnens tid" (’Verification principles and source criticism! Journalism in an era of lies’) with Sigurd Allern (prizewinning). The both of us are now conducting a study within the framework of a Nordic research project on Swedish think tanks that will be published in a special issue of Scandinavian Political Studies. I am also writing an article on the shootings in Malmö southern Sweden, and another article about different perspectives within Swedish political journalism as part of a comparative article for a Nordic anthology, co-written with other Nordic researchers. In spring 2020, the major part of my research will be dedicated to my upcoming book about Swedish reporting about the Holocaust as well as Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter’s reporting about the German concentration camps.

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Articles with Ester Pollack