NEWS | 20 Apr 2017

More fact-based media coverage of alcohol and drugs

To increase the understanding between the ways journalists and researchers work, the Nordic Welfare Centre has published Missbruk av fakta? Alkohol och droger i medierna [Misuse of facts? Alcohol and drugs in the media]. The aim of the publication is to make the media coverage of alcohol and drugs more fact-based and nuanced. 

Journalists and researchers are two professional groups with basically the same mission: to research and spread facts. Journalists aim to set out and explain happenings in an accessible way, with a clear news angle and often with a tight deadline. Researchers, by comparison, produce fact-based and deeper knowledge that does not necessarily give short and unambiguous answers. 

When these two approaches meet, there might be a collision. If the theme on top of that is controversial and emotional, like alcohol and drugs, the risk of misunderstanding increases. 

In the publication Missbruk av fakta? Alkohol och droger i medierna [Misuse of facts? Alcohol and drugs in the media], the Nordic Welfare Centre has developed tips for the one interviewing or being interviewed, with the aim to make the media coverage of alcohol and drugs more fact-based and nuanced. 

Nordic seminar tour 
The publication is based on discussions during the Nordic Welfare Centre’s seminar tour with the same name, and in cooperation with a Nordic work group. The seminar tour visited the Nordic countries during 2015 – 2016, with the aim to, together with the main experts in the Nordic countries, discuss media coverage of alcohol and drugs and how journalists, researchers, and other experts can become better at communicating with each other. 

Through the different chapters of the publication, advice is being given to both journalists and researchers to facilitate communication. One of the chapters covers examples of terms that can be problematic to use when reporting about addictions. Another chapter includes a word list that can be helpful when discussing research results. 
 

Image: The Nordic Welfare Center's publications Missbruk av fakta? Alkohol och droger i medierna [Misuse of facts? Alcohol and drugs in the media

 

The publication, being published in all Nordic countries, is addressed to journalism students and researchers who are at the beginning of their career. Nevertheless, it will also be helpful to other experts in the field of alcohol and drugs.  

A print copy of the publication can be ordered for free here. 

 

About the Nordic Welfare Center
The Nordic Welfare Centre is an institution under the Nordic Council of Ministers.  Its mission is to enhance social policy work in the Nordic countries through education, public information, research and development, networking and international co-operation.

 

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MIA JONSSON LINDELL