“Othering” agricultural biotechnology: Slovenian media representation of agricultural biotechnology

Jožica Zajc, Karmen Erjavec

While studies on media representations of agricultural biotechnology mostly analyse media texts, this work is intended to fill a research gap with an analysis of journalistic interpretations of media representations. The purpose of this project was to determine how news media represent agricultural biotechnology and how journalists interpret their own representations. A content and critical discourse analysis of news texts published in the Slovenian media over two years and in-depth interviews with their authors were conducted. News texts results suggest that most of the news posts were “othering” biotechnology and biotechnologists: biotechnology as a science and individual scientists are represented as “they,” who are socially irresponsible, ignorant, arrogant, and “our” enemies who produce unnatural processes and work for biotechnology companies, whose greed is destroying people, animals, and the environment. Most journalists consider these representations to be objective because they have published the biotechnologists’ opinions, despite their own negative attitudes towards biotechnology.

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