New article by Kristian H. Nielsen with Antoinette Fage-Butler, Loni Ledderer, Marie Louise Tørring, and Kristoffer Laigaard Nielbo: "Exploring Trust and Mistrust Relating to the MMR Vaccine in Danish Newspapers Using Computational Analysis and Framing"
Proceedings of the 6th Digital Humanities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries Conference (DHNB 2022), Uppsala, Sweden, March 15-18, 2022, p. 212-220
The aim of this paper is to investigate how the MMR vaccine debate was framed as a matter of public trust or mistrust on Danish newspaper media. Our results, based on computational analysis of the information dynamics of 231 newspaper articles from 2001 to 2019 and subsequent qualitative framing analysis, provide additional information about MMR vaccination coverage in the three major Danish national newspapers, Politiken, Berlingske and Ekstrabladet. We used a Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model to train article-level dense low-dimensional representations and explored the information dynamics using Nielbo et al.’s [1, 2] approach to change detection in news-based information signals. In addition, we used Entman  to identify and analyse frames that related to trust and mistrust of MMR vaccination. We found that the Danish MMR debate followed patterns of novelty and resonance that typify the expected dynamics of news reporting by legacy news media when news is not catastrophic or shocking . Supporting this finding, the framing analysis showed that the three newspapers promoted vaccines as safe and valuable for society throughout the period. Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives from cultural studies, science studies, public health, computational humanities and media studies, this study presents a methodologically innovative approach to studying historical and near-real time framing of (mis)trust of vaccination in newspaper articles. Recent debates about the safety of Covid-19 vaccines underline the importance of quantifying and qualifying vaccine discourses and paying attention to legacy media’s overall agenda-setting role.