Ethical Journalism Without Ethical Journalists

January 1960. Crisis at Dagens Nyheter (DN [The Daily News]). The two new editors, Olof Lagercrantz and Sven-Erik Larsson, stood on opposing sides in a battle of strategic importance. It was about a piece on the Church of Sweden.

Lagercrantz wanted to publish a leading piece that warned about the ethical consequences of submitting to forces outside oneself. Larsson thought that DN should be neutral in religious matters. Chairman Tor Bonnier was forced to arbitrate. Olof Lagercrantz was successful in the battle and the piece was printed. Press researcher, Stig Hadenius, recounts this story (for its time a typical newspaper crisis) in his DN monograph Dagens Nyheters historia. Tidningen och makten 1864–2000 (The Story of Dagens Nyheter. The Newspaper and the Power, 1864-2000) (2002).

Could you imagine Peter Wolodarski and Gunilla Herlitz triggering a cabinet crisis in t...

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