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Journalists´ attitudes to readership studies: A study of newspaper journalists and editors-in-chief in Sweden

Chapter in book
Authors Ulrika Andersson
Published in Variety in Mass Media Reserach
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 9-20
ISBN 978-960-6672-46-0
ISSN 9789606672460
Publisher Athiner
Place of publication Athens
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 9-20
Language en
Keywords journalists, editors-in-chief, readership studies
Subject categories Media and Communications


Swedish newspapers have long had high market penetration. However, since the early 1990s most have experienced a noticeable decline in readership. This trend is generally explained by the expansion of the media market and the audience’s growing interest in new media. In response, Swedish newspapers have stressed the importance of knowing their readers better. To obtain this knowledge, they have conducted more readership studies. But what are Swedish journalists’ attitudes toward such studies? Are they regarded as good or bad? This paper examines journalists’ and editors-in-chief’s attitudes to readership studies. It reports significant differences between the attitudes of journalists working for daily newspapers and their editors-in-chief. While journalists have a positive attitude to readership studies, they are not nearly as enthusiastic about them as their superiors are. This division probably represents the difference between the prevailing professional ideals and business perspectives of the two groups. The study is based on two national surveys carried out at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden in fall 2005. It represents the views of some 470 journalists and editors-in-chief at daily newspapers in Sweden.

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