PORTRAYAL OF ADOPTION IN SWEDISH NEWS MEDIA. A transitivity analysis of social actors in the 2018 Chile adoption news story.
The current study researches how adoption stakeholders are portrayed in Swedish news media by applying a transitivity framework to analyze online news articles. The news articles in focus concern adoptions made in the 1970s from Chile to Sweden with possible ties to human trafficking. The selected news sources were the three most read online platforms and a fourth that was the first to report of the issue at hand. The key stakeholders identified in the analysis were the adoptee, adoption agency, biological parent, media and state authority. Transitivity analysis was used to extract features in text that could show if underlying meanings are present or deliberately left out to convey a certain perception of an issue. The analysis showed that agency, media and state authority were represented in a active manner, which gave them power as social actors whereas the adoptee and biological parents were represented with low social power when it came to being an active agent/doer, especially in material processes. This recurrent portrayal has influence on the public view on the issue and on social practice. From the current study the portrayal is rather one-dimensional for the different stakeholders, which contributes to the research in media portrayal and can give a small insight in Swedish news media representation. Further research can from the current study results continue to investigate how narrow portrayal is reflected in public opinion or vice-versa.