A welfare state of mind? nordic journalists’ conception of their role and autonomy in international context

Arjen van Dalen, Morten Skovsgaard, Laura Ahva, Jan Fredrik Hovden, Guðbjörg Hildur Kolbeins, Monica L. Nilsson, Jari Väliverronen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The development of journalism in the Nordic countries has been shaped by two interconnected ideologies: the welfare state and democratic corporatism. International reviews have repeatedly emphasized the similarities of the media systems in these countries. However, less work has been done on the professional identity of individual journalists working within these systems. In this article, the similarities and differences between journalists’ professional values and perceptions in the Nordic countries are explored based on survey data from the Worlds of Journalism Study. The results indicate that despite country-specific variance, Nordic journalists share a vision of their professional identity especially in terms of seeing themselves as detached watchdogs and renouncing the role of opportunist facilitator. Another Nordic characteristic is the low level of experienced economic influence on journalistic work. In important ways, thus, Nordic journalists’ professional views appear to reflect central characteristics of the political culture and media systems in which they work.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Studies
Volume18
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)595-613
ISSN1461-670X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4. May 2017

Keywords

  • Nordic countries
  • democratic corporatism
  • media systems
  • professional autonomy
  • role conception
  • welfare state

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