Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud and I have just had an article accepted that deals with how public organizations handle critical and emotional stories. Here is the abstract: “The reputation and legitimacy of public organizations can be threatened by emotional news stories depicting a faceless bureaucratic power apparatus that is blind to how their decisions affect humans negatively. This qualitative study focuses on the strategies of the Norwegian immigration authorities as they handle emotional accounts of family reunion cases. The analysis first reconstructs what is called a Man Against the System-frame, and then moves on to investigate the competing frame that the authorities construct and the strategies used to promote this frame. The article sheds new light on the concept of framing contests by analyzing the possibilities and constraints of public organizations when they construct and use a frame.”
The title of the piece is “Tears and Framing Contests: Public Organizations Countering Critical and Emotional Stories” and it will appear in the International Journal of Strategic Communication. Here is a preprint version.