From Witch-Doctoring to Holistic Well-Being

Journalistic Representations of Three Influential Estonian CAM Doctors

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Katre Koppel University of Tartu katrekoppel@gmail.com

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Marko Uibu University of Tartu marko.uibu@ut.ee

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With the aim to illustrate the complex relations between complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and biomedicine, we examine how journalists have represented three influential Estonian CAM doctors. Our analysis of 36 journalistic texts published between 1996 and 2018 about these CAM doctors focuses on the similarities and the differences between the representations. Our study demonstrates how journalistic decisions shape the representations of CAM doctors, making journalists important actors in the debates between CAM and biomedicine. Due to the high polarisation between CAM and biomedicine in the Estonian media landscape, CAM doctors, as controversial figures, face constant pressure to make choices when participating in the public sphere. If CAM doctors choose a passive media strategy, it can lead to more polarised journalistic representations of CAM-related activities.

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