Date of Award

1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours

School

School of Media Studies

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Lelia Green

Abstract

Sweden has undergone major changes in its mediasphere during the last twelve years, during which two oppositional forces have been particularly at work, capitalist and socialist. Goth those forces have influenced the direction in which the national mediasphere is transforming. The challenges of these political discourses, and responses from the parties involved regarding the role of the media in society, has been increasingly visible since the late 1950s, when the public service monopoly was first called into question. The Swedish socialist government has promoted and protected its non - commercial public service monopoly, through which they could mould national identity and distribute culture and enlightenment to all Swedish citizens. The public service broadcaster, although 'independent', has been closely tied to and monitored by the state, which has put society, education, seriousness, discussion on social and political issues and non- commercialism at the top of its public broadcasting agenda. With the threat to the public service monopoly and to the security of control, there has been considerable cultural, economical, political and social debate in and between various national organisations. The discourses surrounding these issues have been especially prominent during the last decade, at a time when the nature of the Swedish mediasphere has changed radically. As transnational commercial broadcasters began finding their way into the Swedish market, the socialist government faced, on one hand, pressure to respond to increasing market forces. On the other hand, pressure also arose regarding the protection and strengthening of the public service broadcaster (Weibull & Severinsson, in Negrine, 1988, p. 85). Through the public broadcaster, the transnational commercial broadcasters, and the political discourses regarding them both, I will create a picture of the Swedish mediasphere and analyse the cultural, political, social and economic policy - making by the governing parties. I will also analyse the 'desired' outcomes of the oppositional forces in question. In this dissertation, I will argue that what started out as cultural concerns relating to increasing capitalist imperialism within the field of broadcasting, has led to the consideration of other issues as well, regarding the discussion of political and economical sovereignty. Also involved is the 'perceived' necessity of technological innovation, mainly in response to the necessity to protect the 'threatened' Swedish cultural beliefs, values and traditions. These discourses have arisen mostly in response to the intensification of globalising forces, where people, goods and services flow more freely and are tied increasingly closer together. During cultural debates on protection from the 'negative' influences reaching Sweden as a result of transnational corporations, technological development has become an even more important part of Swedish policy- making. As will be argued, two main beliefs regarding technology have arisen. Firstly, a governing belief in technology as 'neutral' can be observed, and secondly, a promise of technological 'salvation' seems to have developed among the governing parties, and especially in the socialist one. The material used in this dissertation has been researched both in Sweden and in Australia, and wherever a passage from a non-English text has been translated and quoted, the original quote in Swedish has been provided for the reader as a reference

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