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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Framing woodland key habitats in the Swedish media - how has the framing changed over time?

Hallberg-Sramek, Isabella; Bjarstig, Therese; Nordin, Annika


The concept of woodland key habitats is well-established in northern Europe, denoting sites in the forest landscape with particularly high biodiversity. In Sweden, woodland key habitats have been inventoried on individual forest owner's land by the Swedish Forest Agency since 1993. Recently, various actors have questioned the woodland key habitat concept and its policy implications. To investigate how framing of the concept has changed over time we conducted a media analysis based on theories of collective action frames. The analysis covered the period 1991-2018 and a total of 293 articles in daily newspapers. Our results showed that, over time, woodland key habitats have mostly been framed by government agencies, journalists and environmental organizations as suffering as a result of forestry practices and that nature conservation is the solution to this problem. Actors presenting other or conflicting frames are not as common and they occur mostly when the frequency of articles is high. However, it is noteworthy that individual forest owners sometimes framed themselves as suffering economically from the woodland key habitats, which contrasts with the dominant framing. There were no large differences between national and regional newspapers in the framing of woodland key habitats.


Frame analysis; nature conservation; biodiversity; forestry; stakeholder; forest policy

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2020, Volume: 35, number: 3-4, pages: 198-209