Press release archive
Last year Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act, the first legislation of its kind in the world, celebrated 250 years. The newly released book, ‘The Legacy of Peter Forsskål. 250 Years of Freedom of Expression’, sheds light on the history of free speech based on Peter Forsskål and his 21 theses on civil liberty.
Sweden and Finland, which then were one country, were the first in the world to pass a law on press freedom. But a few years before the new law was adopted, Peter Forsskål published a pamphlet that contained innovative ideas for that time, including every citizens’ right to freedom of expression.
Forsskål’s pamphlet was called ‘Thoughts on Civil Liberty’ and came to cause big commotion in the 1760s Sweden. It included 21 paragraphs setting out his thoughts advocating against oppression and tyranny and expressing civil rights for everyone, says Ulla Carlsson, one of the book’s editors and UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Expression at the University of Gothenburg.
‘The Legacy of Peter Forsskål. 250 Years of Freedom of Expression’ contains chapters from a number of researchers and writers from both Sweden and Finland. The authors shed new light on Forsskål’s life and historical battle for Swedish press freedom as well as development of freedom of the press until today. Thus, the book is both a historical look back and a highly topical work in today’s digital society.
Freedom of expression is constantly being disputed and it’s still not obvious. With the digitalization that cuts across every part of our society and with Internet and all its platforms new dimensions and dilemmas are created, not leased from a freedom of expression and democracy perspective, says Ulla Carlsson.
‘The Legacy of Peter Forsskål. 250 Years of Freedom of Expression’ is based on a seminar that took place on UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in Helsinki, 3 May 2016, an event held in association with the 250th anniversary of Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act.
Anniversaries like these can be used as a starting point for debate. It’s important to discuss our history and where we stand today in terms of freedom of expression, the right to information and freedom of the press, and that’s what we want to do in this book, says Ulla Carlsson.
The book is available for download (open access) or to order in print from Nordicom’s website:
Information about the book and Nordicom
Ulla Carlsson is Professor and UNESCO Chair in Freedom of Expression, Media Development and Global Policy at the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Gothenburg. She is the former Director of Nordicom. David Goldberg is the Founder and Director of Project Forsskål (http://www.peterforsskal.com/about.html)
The book is published by Nordicom, a knowledge centre in the field of media and communication research at the University of Gothenburg. Starting from academic research, Nordicom collects and adapts knowledge, mediating it to various user groups in the Nordic region, Europe and elsewhere in the world
For questions about the book or its content, please contact Professor Ulla Carlsson, phone: +46 786 80 88 74, e-mail: email@example.com.
Most commercial news media companies depend on revenue from advertisers to survive. But for many years now, the revenue has been decreasing, and global companies such as Google and Facebook are taking over the Nordic digital advertising markets. Nordicom is now launching the book Ad Wars, a unique study that analyses how the competition from global digital advertising platforms affects the possibilities of financing news journalism in the Nordic countries.
Digitalisation has changed how we communicate with one another, how we search for information, how we use media and, not least, how media are financed. At the moment, the advertising market is experiencing extensive shifts in advertising investments, from traditional media to the Internet. This means that global tech companies like Google and Facebook are challenging the position of the national media companies as platforms for advertising.
Ad Wars analyses how digitalisation of the advertising market has impacted the business model of Nordic news media companies.
Global tech companies dominate
As the competition of the advertising investments increase, many media companies see advertising revenue decrease, in some cases drastically. Today, non-Nordic digital platforms answer for around 60 percent of the digital advertising investments in Sweden and Denmark. In Norway, it’s about 45 percent.
During 2016 alone, Nordic advertisers invested approximately 2.2 billion Euro – or 21 billion Swedish crowns – in non-Nordic advertising platforms on the Internet. Compared to one year earlier, that’s a growth of around 30 percent.
“In both Sweden and Norway, non-Nordic actors appear to have answered for the entire collective growth of the digital advertising investments during 2015 and 2016. Indications show that the situation is the same in Denmark too”, says Jonas Ohlsson, researcher in charge of the study.
The newspaper industry most affected
The newspaper industry has been most affected by these changes. The Nordic advertising investments in printed newspapers have fallen by 40 percent since 2011 – equivalent to approximately 12 billion Swedish crowns. At the same time, the newspaper industry has only to a limited extent been able to compensate for the decrease in print advertisement with digital sales.
“When the commercially financed news media can no longer rely on advertising as a source of income, there will be consequences for the entire business model and, in extension, for the entire production of journalism in the Nordic region”, says Jonas Ohlsson.
Information about the study and Nordicom
Nordicom is a knowledge centre in the field of media and communication research at the University of Gothenburg. Starting with academic research, Nordicom collects and adapts knowledge, mediating it to various user groups in the Nordic region, Europe and elsewhere in the world. The study has been commissioned and financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. Jonas Ohlsson and Ulrika Facht at Nordicom have conducted the data collection and analysis.
The report is available to download, free of charge, here: http://www.nordicom.gu.se/sv/publikationer/ad-wars
For questions about the study or its results, please contact researcher Jonas Ohlsson, phone: +46 31 786 61 25 or +46 70-2737209, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Journalists are threatened and killed around the world when exercising their right to freedom of expression. At the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day the book The Assault on Journalism. Building knowledge to protect freedom of expression will be launched. The book is one of the first global research work on safety of journalists.
The book is the result of a collaboration between University of Gothenburg, UNESCO and the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).
“People who exercise their right to freedom of expression through journalism must be allowed to practice their work without restrictions – but the obstacles are many. Every day we see new forms of censorship and repression, self-censorship, surveillance, monitoring and control, gatekeeping, propaganda-disinformation, acts of terror, anti-terror laws, criminalization of encryption and/or anonymity, hate speech and harassment, as well as organized crime,” says Professor Ulla Carlsson, who is the main editor of the book and UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Expression at University of Gothenburg.
Nearly 850 journalists, media workers and social media producers have been killed during the past ten years. A clear upward trend in the rate of journalists’ killings can be observed, and nearly 60 per cent of all cases, took place in countries where there has been armed conflict.
“A total of 95 per cent of these professionals were local, the same applies to non-lethal attacks, which range from intimidation, harassment and arbitrary detention to sexual attacks directed against women journalists,” says Ulla Carlsson.
Silencing these actors through violence constitutes a serious threat to freedom of expression. Equally worrying is the fact that in more than nine of ten cases of journalists’ killings, the crime remains unsolved. The result is a vicious cycle of impunity – a climate of fear and self-censorship.
“Even in countries that are ranked high on a number of indexes measuring the vitality of democracy voices are silenced through expressions, made on social media, of hatred, harassment and threats to journalists and other media workers – all of which is about creating fear,” says Ulla Carlsson.
Journalism has expanded beyond traditional news reporting in the era of globalization and digitization. To protect, promote and develop freedom of expression and freedom of the media in this digital era, an absolutely fundamental prerequisite for progress is knowledge development, and not least comparative studies.
“If we are to address the elusive relationship between media, assaults on journalism and freedom of expression, we need to bring together researchers from different parts of the world,” says Professor Carlsson.
The publication, which contains contributions that have involved nearly 50 researchers around the world, should be seen against such a backdrop.
“Moreover, the work has shown a great courage displayed by several scholars in countries like Nigeria, Pakistan, Mexico, Turkey, etc.,” says Professor Ulla Carlsson.
The book is available to download (open access) or order as a print copy from Nordicom’s website: http://nordicom.gu.se/sv/publikationer/assault-journalism
Information about the book and Nordicom
Ulla Carlsson is Professor and UNESCO Chair in Freedom of Expression, Media Development and Global Policy at the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Gothenburg. She is the former Director of Nordicom. Co-editor of the book is Reeta Pöyhtäri at Tampere University. She is former Expert, Division for freedom of expression and media development at UNESCO in Paris.
The 1993 UN General Assembly proclaimed the 3rd of May to be World Press Freedom Day. This was a response to a call by African journalists, who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence. The day celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom: to monitor press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
Nordicom is a knowledge centre in the field of media and communication research, at the University of Gothenburg. Starting from academic research, Nordicom collects and adapts knowledge, mediating it to various user groups in the Nordic region, Europe and elsewhere in the world
For questions about the book or its content, please contact Professor Ulla Carlsson, phone: +46 786 80 88 74, e-mail: email@example.com
Almost six and a half hours!
That’s how much time an average Swede spends daily on media use
Every year the knowledge centre Nordicom at Gothenburg University conducts a survey on media use in Sweden: The Media Barometer. Results from the 2014 survey have now been published. One main finding is that children and youth spend most of their media time on social media, while middle-aged and older people still spend most of their time on scheduled television programmes.
The media are an integrated part of our daily lives, and a large share of our waking time is devoted to media use. Today, around 75 per cent of inhabitants have access to a smartphone, which means they literary have the Internet in their pockets. Half of the population use the mobile device for social media. Only five years ago, 14 per cent of the population had access to a smartphone. This technical development is thus almost revolutionary. One can easily get the impression that the media landscape has been completely transformed. But is that the case?
- Partly, says Ingela Wadbring, Director of Nordicom. While technical developments are underway, many of our media habits stay the same. Still, on a normal day, eight out of ten spend one and a half hours watching television. But young people and older people have different habits: Among the young, watching YouTube clips is as common as watching ordinary television. Senior citizens hardly use YouTube at all, but spend a great deal of time on traditional television. Media use is a question of generational belonging.
Over time, the proportion of the population who read newspapers has decreased – independent of platform – while book reading has remained stable. On the Internet, a larger share use social media than use traditional media. There are, however, major differences between young people and older people regarding all media forms.
About the Media Barometer
The Media Barometer is an annual survey that analyses daily media use on different platforms among Swedish inhabitants between 9 and 79 years of age. Its purpose is to describe tendencies and changes in media use. The first survey was conducted in 1979. The survey is based on telephone interviews that are conducted across an entire year. Respondents are selected at random from the population. In 2014, 6,010 persons were interviewed.
For further information please contact:
Ulrika Facht, phone +46 31 786 13 06, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karin Hellingwerf, phone +46 31 786 19 92, email@example.com
Ingela Wadbring, phone +46 31 786 66 40, firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the results are presented online, also in English: http://nordicom.gu.se/en/media-trends/media-barometer
The time devoted to both conventional and social media each day is growing; digital divides are widening.
Smartphones have made it far easier for people to find and exchange information and to make their views heard. In 2010, 14 per cent of the people of Sweden had access to a smartphone; three years later, in 2013, the figure is 67 per cent. More time is devoted to both online editions of traditional media and social media. And, for the first time in several years total time spent with media has increased in the entire population, to an average 6 hours and 18 minutes.
Men and women under the age of 45 are leading the trend; fully 90 per cent of this age group have access to smartphones and use them for intensified media use and communicative activity. Measured in time, men use smartphones primarily to access audio and visual media and to read daily newspapers; women spend more time interacting in social networks and reading blogs.
At the same time, new digital divides have emerged, particularly between different categories defined by level of formal education. The differences between the most highly and least educated groups with respect to access to both smartphones and other mobile media, like laptops and tablets, are striking. The differences in access are reflected in all forms of online media use. ‘Divides’ in information-gathering and social participation have become more accentuated.
Independent and plural media have long been considered a cornerstone of democracy. Democratic rule presumes well-informed citizens equipped with critical faculties. Well-informed citizens are in turn dependent on reliable media and journalists who take their ‘watchdog’ role seriously. What implications may existing digital divides have for democracy and freedom of expression?
- One thing is certain,” says Professor Ulla Carlsson, who is responsible for the survey. “Any media and communication culture that undergoes such profound changes as those we see at present requires media- and information-savvy citizens with sharp eyes.”
Visual digital media continue to displace reading. Traditional media and new platforms co-exist, side by side. Traditional media continue to dominate media use in all but the youngest group (9-14 years). In many respects, we still live in a TV-oriented world. Eighty-three per cent of the population watched television the average day in 2013. The vast majority (81 percent) still watch television via a conventional television set. The corresponding figure for web-TV is 6 per cent the average day, but weekly use of web-TV increased from 27 to 33 per cent between 2012 and 2013.
Reading of daily newspapers, particularly morning papers, continues to decline. The reach of the morning press has fallen from 72 per cent in 2007 to 56 per cent in 2013 (reading of both hard-copy and web editions). The time spent reading morning newspapers the average day differs between hard-copy and online editions: readers of morning papers spend 30 minutes with their newspaper on paper, compared to 15 minutes online.
Different media and platforms complement one another in an increasingly fragmented media landscape – among those who have access to both and are free to choose.
About the Survey Media Barometer
The Media Barometer is an annual measure of the reach of various media in Sweden – i.e., the share of the population that partakes of radio, television, teletext, film, music, cinema, computer games, morning newspapers, evening tabloids, weekly and monthly periodicals, journals, advertising, media use online via internet and cell phones. The aim is to provide serial data that describe trends and changes in people’s media use. The measures are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of the population aged 9-79 years. The survey population in 2013 was comprised of 4,797 respondents. Media Barometer surveys provide annual serial data from 1979 to the present study.
The Media Barometer 2013 (only in Swedish) may be ordered online from Nordicom at www.nordicom.gu.se or by e-mail: email@example.com.
More information in English is available on Nordicom’s website
Analysis of data compiled by national film institutes in the Nordic countries shows that the film industry in the region is still dominated by men:
Men still dominate the functions of director, producer and script writer;
Men are the main characters in fiction films;
In 25 of the 98 Nordic fiction films released in 2012, the lead actors, directors, producers and scriptwriters were all men;
In only one of the 98 films were all these positions held by women;
The most gender balanced position is the producer in the Swedish and Danish sectors.
Read the full report here:Gender Balance in the Film Industry
The data will be presented at Göteborg International Film Festival at a seminar entitled “Gender Balance in the Nordic Film Industry”,
Jan 29 2014, 1 pm, at Pustervik, Järntorget.
The report is based on available public statistics on men and women compiled and analysed by Nordicom as part of the Nordic Gender & Media Forum,
financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers and monitored by Nordicom at the University of Gothenburg during 2014. The Nordic Gender & Media Forum
is about collecting statistics, examples of good practice, and creating a platform for discussion of gender equality in the media (film, journalism, advertising
and computer games). The project can be seen as a regional follow-up to the Beijing Platform for Action, 1995, when all UN member states agreed on the
need to increase the participation of women in the media and to combat stereotypes.
Contact info to the speakers at the seminar:
Ulrika Facht, media analyst, Nordicom, University of Gothenburg, +46 31 786 1306
Annika Hellström, Dorisfilm, Sweden, + 46 70 786 64 16
Francine Raveney, Director, European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA), +33 687381621
Terese Martinsson, Bachelor student, Cultural Studies, University of Gothenburg, +46 70 352 14 57
Maria Edström, Research officer, Nordicom, + 46 70 370 48 79
www.nordicgenderandmediaforum.se #ngmf14 #equalnordic
Nordicom is a knowledge centre for media and communications research, a collaboration between the five countries of the Nordic region – Denmark, Finland,
Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Nordicom is an institution that operates under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Smartphones have increased use of social media and computer games
Over 60 per cent of Swedish young people today have a smartphone, and in addition to telephoning and messaging, they use them to communicate via social media and e-mail, and to play games.
Each year, Nordicom at Gothenburg University carries out a nationally representative survey of media use among the Swedish people. Media Barometer 2011 (Mediebarometern 2011) presents the results of the most recent survey.
– Smartphones have contributed to an already notable increase in the use of computer games, particularly among young people, says Professor Ulla Carlsson. Online game-playing has more than doubled during the past year alone. Sixty per cent of 9- to 14-year-olds play one or more computer or video games the average day – action and adventure themes predominate.
Smartphones are also used to keep up on the news. As a consequence of more differentiated media use, news listening and watching via traditional media have shown a slight decline in recent years, particularly among young people. That decline appears to have leveled off now. Most owners of smartphones choose to follow the news in web editions of daily newspapers.
Use of social media is considerably more passive than active
Nearly 90 per cent of Swedish young people, aged 15 to 24, use one or more social media the average day, which is a considerably greater share than those who watch television (75 %). This pattern is quite different from media behavior in other age groups, where television viewing is much more common.
Young people also spend much more time on internet than other age groups. Forty-three per cent report spending more than three hours on the web the average day, and 23 per cent spend more than five hours. The most common activity is visiting and communicating in social networks like Facebook (89 %), followed by listening to music (74 %), watching video clips (65 %) and listening to and/or reading blogs (34 %). Most internet use is passive rather than active; few young people post their own videos (4 %) or write their own blogs (9 %). Considerably more, however, take part in social networks like Facebook (68 %).
Stability as well as change in use of traditional media
Use of social media is more extensive and is increasing more rapidly than use of traditional media on the web, although we do note a slight upward trend in the latter from year to year. Younger adults, 25 to 44 years, are the most frequent users of internet. Nearly 50 per cent in this group partake of traditional media via the web. Internet also plays a key role in sustaining the audience reach of non-subscribed tabloids; every second tabloid reader reads the paper on the web.
Otherwise, conventional television viewing continues to dominate, and radio listening continues its downward trend, whereas reading of periodicals and books remains relatively stable.
Today there are many ways of watching television, in terms of both when we view and how we access the medium, with a range of hardware stretching from conventional television sets to tablet computers and smartphones. Six per cent of the population make use of conventional channels' archive on-demand function the average day; per week the figure is 21 per cent. The corresponding figures among 15- to 24-year-olds are 10 per cent the average day, and 30 per cent the average week. About 10 per cent of younger boys use their cell phones to watch television or video clips the average day.
Swedes in the eldest age group, 65-79 years, distinguish themselves by a rise in cinema-going. No similar rise is noted in other age groups. Seventeen per cent of the group visit a cinema once or more the average month; in 1999 the figure was 3 per cent.
About the Media Barometer (MedieBarometern)
The Media Barometer, an annual measure of audience reach, surveys the shares of the Swedish people who use a variety of media the average day, week and/or month from year to year, and the time they spend using them. The media measured are radio, television, teletext, video/DVD, cinema, CDs, mp3, computer games, morning newspapers, evening tabloids, periodicals, advertising and use of media output via internet and smartphones. The aim is to document trends and changes in people's media use. The barometer readings are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of the population beween the ages of 9 to 79. The 2011 data are based on interviews with 4 500 respondents. The first Media Barometer was undertaken in 1979. Together, the Barometers form an unbroken chain of data, although, of course, several media are much younger than the series.
Almost all 9- to 24-year-old Swedes use the internet. Most of them do so daily, and the older they are, the more they use it. Yet, this does not mean that they have stopped ceased using traditional media, says Professor Olle Findahl, who has conducted a study on young people’s media habits on behalf of NORDICOM at the University of Gothenburg.
Admittedly, people in this age group do watch TV and listen to radio and recorded music somewhat less today than 30 years ago. The same trend can be observed for reading, especially when it comes to educational textbooks and nonfiction. However, children and adolescents still use traditional media more than the internet. In fact, schoolchildren (age 9-14) spend a whole 75 percent of their media time on traditional media; for the age group 15-24 the proportion is 60 percent.
Similar to what happened when television came about in the 1950s, it seems like people use the internet to complement and not substitute older media. The internet provides young people with music and films. Then there is the entirely new behaviour that is made possible through social networks – contacts with like-minded individuals who share the same interests.
The social network Facebook has a greater reach among young people than newspapers, and almost the same reach as TV. And the reach of the digital music service Spotify comes close to that of radio. However, this does not mean that everything that has to do with the internet automatically becomes popular. For example, relatively few young individuals use tablet computers, e-books and the Twitter microblog service. Yet the use of so-called smartphones has increased by several hundred percent in only two years.
It should be noted that there is no direct negative correlation between internet use and the use of traditional media. Instead, the most intense internet users are also heavy consumers of traditional media.
The report can be ordered from firstname.lastname@example.org
Use of social media on the rise:
Eight young people in ten use social media the average day; their internet use displaces reading for pleasure and radio listening.
Differences between the sexes still prevail:
While young men play computer games, young women read books and blog.
Every year, Nordicom at Göteborg University takes a barometer reading of media use in Sweden. Media Barometer data were first collected in 1979. These are some of the findings of the 2010 survey.
Among 15- to 24-year-olds eight in ten use social media the average day, 15 per cent more than in 2009. An even sharper increase - from 32 to 49 per cent - is noted among 25- to 44-year-olds. The time people in these younger ages devote to the media overall has rested at about 6.5 hours a day over the past few years, but within these hours media habits have changed. In 2010, internet claimed 40 per cent of this time, up from 34 per cent one year earlier. In all other age groups, television viewing still dominates (children and people older than 44 years).
Media habits have changed the most among elder teens and young adults (ages 15-44). The greatest impacts that may be attributed to increased use of internet are on radio listening and reading of magazines and books among young people (15-24), but on reading of newspapers among those aged 25-44. The share of newspaper subscribers among this latter group has fallen by 16 percentage points in the past decade, compared to a decline of 7 points among the population as a whole.
Use of traditional media – newspapers, television and radio – on the web has steadily increased, but the rise last year was relatively slight: 28 per cent of the population visited the websites of traditional media the average day in 2010. Those aged 25-44 were the most frequent users. The tabloid press is the only category that may be said to have become fully established on the web in terms of the numbers of users. Roughly one in four in the age group 25-44 years uses no other media besides tabloids on the web.
Six per cent of the population as a whole report watching television on a computer, cell phone or other device; the figure is 10 per cent among youth. The great majority, over 80 per cent, still watch television on an ordinary TV set.
The biggest contrast between men's and women's media habits is the difference noted in reading of books. A similar difference is noted between boys and girls, as well.
"While young men play computer games, young women are reading books for pleasure or blogging. The pattern is in line with the patterns of media use our Barometers have found in these two groups over the years," says Professor Ulla Carlsson, Director of Nordicom.
Forty per cent of Swedish women read books for pleasure the average day, compared to 24 per cent among men. Education is a strong factor with regard to book reading. College- and university-educated individuals tend to read books more, 42 per cent the average day, compared to 22 per cent among those who have no higher education. Book reading as a pastime is about twice as frequent among individuals in senior managerial and academic positions as among people in so-called 'blue-collar" occupations.
About the Swedish Media Barometer survey
Mediebarometern is an annual survey meant to examine how the Swedish population on an average day of a given year use the media; radio, TV, teletext, video/DVD, film, CD, mp3, computer games, morning newspaper, evening newspaper, weekly or monthly magazines and publications, advertisements, as well as media use on the Internet and mobile telephone. The measures focus on 'recency', not 'frequency', i.e., the regularity of media use. The purpose is to describe tendencies and changes regarding how people use the media. The survey is based on telephone interviews with a random sample of the population between 9 and 79 years old. The sample for 2010 consisted of about 4,700 persons. The first Media Barometer was conducted in 1979, and has been conducted every year since them. NORDICOM at the University of Gothenburg has been responsible for the survey since 1994.