Journal Article

The Political in Cultural Journalism: Fragmented interpretative communities in the digital age



This article explores how nine Swedish cultural editors and managers in mainstream media institutions define cultural journalism and its political dimensions during times of increased digitization and media convergence. Swedish cultural journalism is aesthetic and political critique applied to subject areas (music, literature, etc.) and contemporary societal and ethical issues. Drawing on Zelizer we ask whether there is a common interpretive community of cultural journalists in different media regarding: (1) how they define their scope, (2) how they understand “the political” in cultural journalism and its implications for democracy, and (3) how they view media convergence and digitalization. We find that although editors/managers from different media share a basic understanding of cultural journalism as an alternative perspective to news, “the political” in cultural journalism is approached differently in the press and the public service broadcast media. Furthermore, due in part to structural conditions, they also see the effects of digitization differently, forming sub-communities on two counts. This study thus contributes new knowledge to a field previously focused almost exclusively on newspapers.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Journalism Practice, Vol 9, Issue 6.
  • Published:
  • Language:

About the Authors

Kristina Riegert

Kristina Riegert is Professor in Media & Communication Studies, having held a position as Lecturer in Journalism and a PhD in Political Science. Read more

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


Riegert, K., Roosvall, A. and Widholm, A. (2015). The Political in Cultural Journalism: Fragmented interpretative communities in the digital age. Journalism Practice, 9(6).