G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
Vargens röst : rovdjursdiskursen i finsk, finlandssvensk och svensk press från 1990-talet till 2010-talet (2021)
The Voice of the Wolf : the discourse of a large predator in Finnish, Finland-Swedish and Swedish newspapers from the 1990s to the 2010s

Ahlholm, A. (2021). Vargens röst : rovdjursdiskursen i finsk, finlandssvensk och svensk press från 1990-talet till 2010-talet [Doctoral dissertation]. Jyväskylän yliopisto. JYU Dissertations, 349. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-8513-4

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Ahlholm, Aku

eISBN: 978-951-39-8513-4

Journal or series: JYU Dissertations

eISSN: 2489-9003

Publication year: 2021

Number in series: 349

Number of pages in the book: 240

Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: Swedish

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-8513-4

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel


We know what a wolf sounds like, but this sound is not heard in the media. There, nature is represented by human voices. To whom those voices belong and how they talk about wolves are the central questions of this study. The study deals with the language of the media in news texts on a topic that has now become very controversial: wolves. The research methods are based on the concept of voice, news theory, and discourse analysis. The first sub-study divides the voices in the news according to professional and interest groups. The second sub-study identifies different discursive representations of voice. The data come from the largest-circulation national daily papers in Finnish, Finland-Swedish and Swedish, as well as local newspapers in the area where news about wolves is most often found. The Finnish-language newspapers are Helsingin Sanomat and Kainuun Sanomat, the Finnish-Swedish newspapers are Hufvudstadsbladet and Vasabladet, and the Swedish newspapers are Dagens Nyheter and Nya Wermlands-Tidningen. The research shows that the presentation of news about wolves has changed over the years. In the past the wolf was a metaphor for evil, also in the news. News about wolves nowadays also includes some voices in their defense. The voices of nature conservation organizations and politicians already began to be more wide-spread in the reporting about wolves at the beginning of the 21st century. News about wolves involves emotions and attitudes, preferably to be expressed right away in the headline. Among representatives of professional and interest groups, the voice of the farmer, reindeer herder or hunter is most likely to be placed in the headline. Although the voice of a researcher or of an authority will rarely make it to the headlines, these are nonetheless the dominant voices in the news as a whole. Authorities account for 30 per cent of all the voices in the material, and re-searchers for 20 per cent. The media wolf is not the same animal as the wild wolf. Because the news is a surprise, media attention is given to a wolf that appears in a surprising place, such as a city, or kills a surprising prey, such as a dog, which is important to humans. The average newspaper item about wolves is a short text that includes the voice of two people, a researcher and an authority. If an interviewee reveals his/her feelings, the voice will make the headline. The news item will tend to end with the researcher’s voice telling people what they should think about the matter.

Keywords: wolf; large predators; journalistic writing; news reportage; public discussion; media; discourse; discourse research; semantics; Finnish language; Swedish language; Finland Swedish

Free keywords: discourse; semantics; wolf; large carnivores; news; sound; voice; linguistics; Swedish; Finnish; Finland-Swedish

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Last updated on 2022-24-11 at 20:50