ARTICLE: Swedish arts journalism loses autonomy

Untitled by RyanMcGuire, licence CC0 1.0

Arts journalism in Sweden is losing its autonomy and becoming more directed by the general logic of commercial journalism, writes Cristine Sarrimo, of Lund University. Sarrimo interviewed three veteran journalists and analyzed articles debating the topic.

According to the author, arts journalism has been “journalistified” – its style and producers replaced by professional journalists in lieu of art aficionados and scholars. The change has occurred during the past 10 to 20 years, in which time many freelance and stringer contracts with outside experts have been terminated.

The arts journalism’s loss of autonomy reflects a broader shift in the Swedish society, the author suggests. With cultural elitism in decline, the journalistic arts sections have adapted towards the larger public. For this purpose, arts journalism pieces “are better written, but they are shorter and faster”, as one of Sarrimo’s interviewees put it.

The article The press crisis and its impact on Swedish arts journalism was published by the journal Journalism. It is available online (abstract free).

Picture: Untitled by RyanMcGuire, licence CC0 1.0.

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