In Sweden there is a strong legal framework for freedom of expression and media pluralism. The Covid-19 pandemic negatively affected the media market, and paid subscriptions and subsidies have become the main source of financing.
Sweden is among the most advanced countries in the world for gender equality. However, surveys reveal that women journalists are particularly exposed to certain categories of threats that their male colleagues do not receive, such as online harassment and hate speech. Moreover, gender issues are often triggers of the intimidation episodes. Most severe threats online come from unidentified private individuals and right-wing extremist groups.
Local and regional newspapers are able to reach almost every part of the country. In the past 10-15 years, newspapers are becoming more regional than local due to the crisis of legacy media, connected to a decline in coverage and in staff. The strong ownership concentration is the reason why there has been no massive closing of local newspapers. The centralisation of production that characterises these groups means that fewer contents are dedicated to the coverage of local issues. To counter the loss of local coverage, a differentiated spectrum of hyperlocal media is developing.
This brief is part of our needs and gaps analysis "Interviewing Journalism II. Needs and gaps in support for women and local journalists".
Gender in media