New times require a new media culture

Most people probably agree on this. I also think that most people agree that in the last ten or twenty years we have seen a widespread deterioration in the formation of intellectually advanced opinions.

When I began working as a critic at Svenska Dagbladet in the early 1990s, there were still freelance contracts, which meant that at least some of the paper’s critics could make a fairly good living doing what they did. A successful critic earned around SEK 12,000–15,000, which was roughly half the income of an editor of a cultural review section.

The cultural review sections in turn all had different images in terms of their ideological, aesthetic, philosophical and scientific bent. As a whole, this meant that journalists, generally speaking, had a relative secure base, which was a condition required in order to criticise dominant currents, question time-bound trends and temporary truths. This created a relatively vigorous climate for debate, wher...

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