Ester Pollack, PhD, is a Professor of Journalism Studies in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. 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. 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. Recent work has dealt with think tanks and lobbying in Sweden as well as issues related to the role of journalism in democracy. Pollack has for a total of 10 years during different periods served as the department's head and deputy head of department. She has also held various positions as director of studies, been a member on the faculty board and has had many other assignments for Stockholm University. She has been internationally involved in the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), where she led a working group, was a member of its international committee and also responsible for the organization's world congress in 2008 in Stockholm. In addition, Ester Pollack has been a voice in the public eye, made research available to the wider public and actively participated in debates concerning issues regarding the social roles of journalism.

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Research Interests

Pollack’s research covers four different fields: media and crime, journalism's role in the history of politics, political journalism and political communication and journalism as a public good. 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. The latest publication is "As the Holocaust ecalated the Swedish press fell silent" in Social Semiotics (2020). Her third area of research focuses on political communication and political journalism: a) journalism and political scandals in the Nordic region, with publications as 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) (all with Prof. Sigurd Allern) and Pollack, E "Personalized Scandalization: sensationalizing trivial conflicts?". In Fugl Eskjær, M., Hjarvard, S. & Mortensen (Eds.),* The Dynamics of Mediatized Conflicts* (2015) as well as a number of articles and chapters in other books, the most recent of which “The New Normal: Scandals as a Standard Feature of Political Life in Nordic Countries" with Allern, S., Kantola, A. & Ørsten, M. in International Journal of Communication (2018) as well as ”New Nordic Noir. Political Scandal as Drama and Media Hunts” with Sigurd Allern in The Routledge Companion to Media and Scandal (2019) **** b) advocacy think tanks in the Nordic region with the publication ”Advocay Think Tanks as News Sources and Agenda Setters” in the Danish journal Politik (with Prof. Sigurd Allern) (2016) and "The role of Think Tanks in the Swedish Landscape" in the journal Scandinavian Political Studies (2020) 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. One publication is "Disclosure of Scandinavian telecom companies' corruption in Uzbekistan" published in European Journal of Communication(2018). In the field of political communication we have collaborated in a Nordic network of researchers. She has also, with her co-auther Sigurd Allern, published an article about the future of journalism “Journalism as a public good: A Scandinavian perspective” in Journalism d) Swedish journalism and the metoo movement. I have written the article "Sweden and the #Metoo movement" in Interactions: Studies in Culture and Communication (2019) and together with Sigurd Allern "When journalists lose their foothold: Swedish and Norwegian verification scandals in #MeToo-movements coverage" in Journalistica (2021).

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Ongoing Research

In the winter of 2022, I completed work on a study of reporting on violence and extremism in the Swedish press between 1990 and 2019. The results will be published in a forthcoming anthology with Amir Rostami and Jerzy Sarnecki as editors. In the summer of 2019, the book I wrote together with Sigurd Allern was published, "Source Verification! Journalism in the Age of Lies "(which won Student Literature's honorary award for Course Literature 2019). In the autumn of 2019 my article "Sweden and the Metoo-movement" was published in Interactions, Studies in Communication & Culture. In July 2020, the article "The Role of Think Tanks in the Swedish Political Landscape" was published, written together with Sigurd Allern and part of a Nordic thematic issue on think tanks in the journal Scandinavian Political science. My work on studies of Swedish newspapers' reports on the Holocaust and Dagens Nyheter's reporting on the German concentration camps led to the publication of the article "As the Holocaust escalated, the Swedish press fell silent" in Social Semiotics in the spring of 2020. The work on the study on the Holocaust and Swedish media's reporting is continuing. I published a rewritten and shortened version of my English article in the Swedish journal Mediehistorisk årsbok 2020 (Media History yearbook of 2020). During the spring of 2020, I also completed a study on name publication of perpetrators within crime journalism (for the Institute of Media Studies). The anthology was published in the summer of 2020. I have also written a chapter on the different roles of crime journalism for a new anthology on forensic psychology, "Media and Crime", which was published by Liber in the beginning of 2021. Together with Sigurd Allern, I have completed a study on Swedish think tanks that is part of a Nordic project and published in a special issue of Scandinavian Political Studies. Yet another chapter on perspectives in political journalism in Sweden, a comparative article together with other Nordic researchers, was published by Nordicom in a anthology, Power, Communication, and Politics in the Nordic Countries . An article about corruption scandals in the Nordic countries and the relationship to various measurements of corruption, is written (together with Sigurd Allern) and published by a new Italian scientific journal Etica Publica. Together with Sigurd Allern, I have prepared an earlier report on the revolving doors between lobbyism and politics published within the so-called Class Project, Katalys, and made it into a book chapter published 2020 in Class in Sweden. In spring 2021, my chapter "Caution, protest or adaptation? The fate of the Jews in the Swedish press 1933-1945" (Media History Yearbook 2021) was published . Sigurd Allern and I have also published a book chapter for the Institute for Media Studies concerning the issues of future media support," A Bonnier opera about media support ". With Sigurd Allern as co-author, I have written an article, "When journalists loose their foothold. Swedish and Norwegian verification scandals in the coverage of the #Metoo- movement" which was published i Journalistica nr.1, 2021.

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Articles with Ester Pollack