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Old is not sexy. How media do (not) report about older people, and how older Swiss journalists started their own newspapers online

Author

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  • Stephan RUSS-MOHL

    () (University of Lugano)

  • Karen TORBEN-NIELSEN

    () (Bern University of Applied Sciences)

Abstract

Although the older people (65+) form an important and ever-growing group in the ageing society, they are not visible accordingly in the media. Via a literature review of earlier international studies, this paper firstly demonstrates how older people are rarely covered in the media, or if so, in an often stereotyped and negative way. This could have a negative influence on the way older people think about themselves, the expectations of society towards them, and the regulations concerning older people. Moreover, the stereotyped portrait does not do justice to the nuanced reality of older people. A case study of (mostly) retired Swiss top journalists, who founded two online newspapers, shows that older people may continue to be innovative and entrepreneurial. We conclude with some reflections about the future presentation of older people in the media, and the possible integration of older journalists in the news rooms.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan RUSS-MOHL & Karen TORBEN-NIELSEN, 2012. "Old is not sexy. How media do (not) report about older people, and how older Swiss journalists started their own newspapers online," Revista Romana de Jurnalism si Comunicare - Romanian Journal of Journalism and Communication, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies – Universitatea din Bucuresti, Facultatea de Jurnalism si Stiintele Comunicarii, issue 1, pages 59-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:foj:journl:y:2012:i:1:p:59-68
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    Keywords

    Older people; media; ageing society; online newspapers.;

    JEL classification:

    • D - Microeconomics
    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations

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