Public sector organizations are becoming increasingly attentive to how they are perceived by the public. The preoccupation with "reputational risks" may cause organizations to be overly defensive and to neglect their primary tasks. Moreover, there is a tension between organizational self-interest and embracing external scrutiny and critique. The aim of this project is to compare news management in three types of public sector organizations in Sweden: social services, the police and schools. These organizations represent different aspects of news management challenges within the public sector. Research questions: 1) How are relations with media organized? 2) What strategies are applied in relation to media? 3) To what extent do intra-organizational interests take precedence over embracing external scrutiny? 4) To what extent do news management concerns affect ordinary activities and performance within the organization? For each type of organization, three empirical studies are conducted. The first provides an overall description of the local/regional organization of news management. The second study provides an in-depth analysis of concrete news management activities on a day-to-day basis. The third study analyzes reactive aspects of news management by following cases where organizations have been subjected to intense media scrutiny. This project would be the first that compares the application of news management in different fields of the public sector.
The Swedish Research Council, 2012-2014: SEK 4,158,000