A century of Swedish media inquiries

| 2 December 2015

Nordicom has made a compilation of political inquiries regarding the media industry conducted since the early 1920's, and found that newspapers, public service and advertising are areas often examined.

The Swedish media inquiry ‘A media policy for the future’ has recently published its first report. But political inquiries in the media field are far from new: government investigations into various topics have been conducted and published within the series Swedish Governmental Official Reports (SOU) for almost a century, starting in 1922.

The first Governmental Official Report (SOU) covering some kind of media, published in 1924, addressed literature in education. Five years later, the first SOU on copyright was published. During the 1930s specific media, as we know them today, such as film/cinema, newspapers and broadcasting, were investigated. In particular, newspapers and broadcasting (radio/TV) have been dealt with in connection to inquiries into freedom of speech, public access, propaganda and censorship.

In focus: newspapers, public service and advertising
The newspaper industry and its economic conditions were first examined in 1965. From that point on, inquiries into the conditions for the newspaper industry, as well as state support to the industry, have been conducted on a regular basis. Along with public service and advertising, these areas have been in the focus of reports at least 20 times each.   

During the 21st century, SOU’s focusing on the newspaper industry have been more scarce. This does not mean the industry has been ignored, but instead that smaller inquiries have been published within another series, the Ministry Publications Series (Ds).

The complete list linking to Swedish SOU’s on the media is available here (in Swedish).

About Nordicom’s list: The list has been made possible through a digitalization project at the National Library, which has made available all published Governmental Official Reports (since 1922, all areas). They can be downloaded in PDF form on a special website. Word search in the reports is possible through a service available at Linköping University. These services are published in Swedish only.