Swedish journalists ‘more left-wing than public’

Swedish journalists 'more left-wing than public'
Photo: John Nixon
Swedish journalists' views diverge wildly from those of their readers, with the average journalist well to the left of the public as a whole, according to a new survey. While normal Swedes want tax cuts and favour retaining nuclear power, Swedish journalists reject both ideas.

The findings are presented in a book published on Wednesday by researchers at Gothenburg University. The book, ‘Den Svenska Journalistkåren’ (‘The Swedish Press Corps’), is based on the results of a number of research projects.

Sweden’s hacks differ from their readers in many ways, according to the researchers. They go to the cinema and theatre more often than the average Swede. They also eat out more frequently, but are less likely to garden.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, talking politics is a favourite pastime. 68 percent of the nation’s scribes have a conversation about politics at least once a week, compared to 25 percent of the population as a whole. Journalists also have greater trust in politicians than the general public.

The Green Party, Left Party and Liberal Party were more favoured by journalists than the Moderates and Social Democrats, the largest parties in the country as a whole. The large parties have been under-represented since journalists’ political views were first canvassed in Sweden in 1989.

Journalists are generally more left-wing than the public at large. One example of this is in attitudes to asylum: 49 percent of people in Sweden as a whole want to reduce the number of refugees Sweden receives, while only 11 percent of journalists favour cutting down on asylum quotas.