Sweden: Stable media trust, but cracks in the facade

NEWS | 9 July 2018

In Sweden, there is a clear divergence in media trust and news usage between different groups in society. These are some of the findings in a new research anthology, which points to an increased polarisation, but also an underlying long-term stability in Sweden. 

For three decades, the SOM Institute has surveyed Swedes’ habits, behaviours, opinions and values regarding society, politics and the media. Their new book, Sprickor i fasaden [Cracks in the Facade], presenting the results and analyses of the 2017 national SOM survey, consists of 25 chapters by 30 researchers in different disciplines.

The analyses show an overall stable trust in the media institutions, but there are cracks in the facade. For example, political polarisation in media trust is greater than ever, with increased trust among voters on the left scale and decreased trust among voters on the right scale. The digital divide between youth and elderly in their choice of news media is also significant.

Other media-related chapters cover local media and the importance of Facebook for local news, changes in newspaper reading during the last three decades, traditional and digital book reading, the role of libraries in the digital world, Internet use and Internet users’ attitudes to the collection of personal data.


The report is published in Swedish, but a set of basic time series on opinions, media use, etc., is available in English under the title ‘Swedish Trends’.

All chapters are available for download (in Swedish)

Download Swedish Trends 1986–2017 (PDF in English)


About the SOM Institute: The institute is an independent survey research organisation at the University of Gothenburg. It collaborates with researchers from a range of disciplines, aiming to explore Swedes’ attitudes and habits in a range of areas and to understand the evolution of Swedish society. Read more.