The dynamics of opinion about the controversy of abnormal death of bees is studied among French speaking journalistic using a corpus of 1467 articles published in newspapers during the period 1998–2010. From a systematic textual analysis, each article is tagged to either one of three stances to explain the phenomenon, a uni-factor cause, namely the use of pesticides, a multi-factor cause, or the absence of an understanding. On this basis, evolutions of the respective proportions of each category are obtained over the 13 consecutive years, exhibiting a series of broken lines. Assuming journalists are either flexible or inflexible about their respective views, their associated proportions are extracted from the data applying Galam Unifying Frame (GUF) of opinion dynamics. The variation of inflexibles along each view is thus obtained as a function of years for the 13 years of the corpus. From those distributions the possible pressure applied on journalists from lobbying or other externalities can be inferred. In addition, the results highlight the critical advantage gained by the first whistleblowers and underline opinion inertia in the debate.
Bees colony collapse disorder