The Worlds of Cultural Journalism

Politics and culture in the age of globalization and digitalization


Duration: 2016 – 2019

Research Areas
Journalism Studies, Media and Communication Studies


The cultural desks of Swedish mainstream media have recently been key players in digitally circulated debates on racism and freedom of expression in democratic societies. This highlights a unique aspect of Swedish and Nordic “cultural journalism” – that it is a distinctive contributor to public discourse on political and ethical issues. This distinctiveness is however coming under pressure due to structural reorganisation and digital convergence. This project is the first systematic multimedia study of cultural journalism’s contribution global imagination in an historic perspective. Its aim is to analyse what kinds of stories about the world are told by the Swedish cultural desks, specifically how the global is made relevant to the local, and how cultural journalism stakes out its role in democratic society under globalization and digitalization (1980s-2010s). It examines how stories about people, events, and ideas reflect or respond to geopolitical transformations, media industry and technological changes and global flows of products and information. In four studies we compare different media by: 1) quantitatively mapping the share and characteristics of stories that connect to the world outside of Sweden, 2) interviewing cultural journalists active in various decades, in order to understand boundary work and production contexts, 3) comparing how events are portrayed in foreign news vs. the cultural desks, in order to discern the distinctiveness of the cultural journalistic “voice” on global and “glocal” issues, and 4) exploring the content and circulation of cultural debates about Swedishness/otherness to further examine the contribution cultural journalism makes to understandings of nationhood and ethnic conflicts. Thereby the project will demonstrate how cultural journalism in various media over time contributes to ideas, debate and analysis of contemporary democracy.

Show more

About the Members

Anna Roosvall

Anna Roosvall got her PhD at the department for Journalism, Media and Communication, at Stockholm University in 2005. Her doctoral dissertation was about Swedish foreign news and aspects of nationality, ethnicity and gender. She was a post-doc res... Read more

Andreas Widholm

Andreas Widholm is Associate Professor of journalism in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden. He received his PhD from the same department in 2011. His research addresses the relationship between media, politics and cult... Read more


For more information, please visit: