Under the Press(ure)? The Role of Media in Organisation and Provision of Municipal Elderly Care

Signe Jernberg, Josef Pallas


What is the role of media(tisation) in organisation and provision of elderly care? By looking at how planning, organising and execution of elderly care is understood in two Swedish municipalities this paper seeks to contribute to discussions of the ways in which values, preferences and working practices of news media play out in shaping conditions for provision of municipal welfare services. Our findings suggest that we can see the role of media values and preferences as embedded – although in different ways and to varying extent – in three distinct but inter-related processes that influence how actors connected to organisation and provision of municipal welfare services understand and relate to each other. These are: 1) setting the aims, aspirations and priorities in the provision of welfare services (i.e., the what); 2) translating these aims, aspirations and priorities into necessary means, resources and activities (i.e., the how); and 3) explaining and justifying the what and the how to different constituencies (i.e., the why). The paper concludes that commonly held values and beliefs about media reinforce the ongoing changes in the governing regime of elderly care in a direction where the role of municipal administrative bodies is more explicitly articulated, especially in terms of accountability and responsibility.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413