Aftonbladet

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Aftonbladet
Aftonbladet wordmark.svg
Aftonbladet frontpage.jpg
Type Daily newspaper
Format tabloid
Owner(s) LO (9%)
Schibsted (91%)
Founder(s) Lars Johan Hierta
Editor-in-chief Jan Helin
Founded 6 December 1830; 184 years ago (1830-12-06)
Political alignment Independent social-democrat
Language Swedish
Headquarters Västra Järnvägsgatan 21,
Stockholm
Circulation 154,900 (2014)
ISSN 1103-9000
Website www.aftonbladet.se
The first page of the first issue of Aftonbladet
In a hand-written bill from the Stockholm riots during the Revolutions of 1848, support for the then-banned Aftonbladet is coupled with a call for overturning the monarchy and instituting a republic

Aftonbladet is a Swedish tabloid published in Stockholm, Sweden. It is one of the larger daily newspapers in the Nordic countries.

History and profile[edit]

The newspaper was founded by Lars Johan Hierta in December 1830 under the name of Aftonbladet i Stockholm[1][2][3] during the modernization of Sweden. In 1852 the paper began to use its current name, Aftonbladet, after 25 name changes.[1] It describes itself as an "independent social-democratic newspaper".[2]

The owners of Aftonbladet are the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) which bought it in the 1950s[4] and Norwegian media group Schibsted which acquired its share in the paper in the late 1990s.[5] LO sold a large of its shares in the paper to the Schibsted group.[6] As per 15 June 2009 Schibsted bought another 41% and became the majority owner with 91%.[7] However, LO has the right to appoint the political editor of the paper.[6]

Aftonbladet, based in Stockholm,[3] is published in tabloid format.[8] The paper reported news and also criticised the new Swedish king Charles XIV John. The king stopped Aftonbladet from being printed and banned it. This was answered by starting the new newspaper "Det andra Aftonbladet" (The second Aftonbladet), which was subsequently banned, followed by new versions named in similar fashion until the newspaper had been renamed 26 times, after which it was allowed by the king.[9]

During its existence, Aftonbladet has leant in different political directions. Initially liberal, it drifted towards conservatism under Harald Sohlman, editor in chief from 1890 to 1921. During World War I, a majority holding was sold to the German government in a secret arrangement.

In 1929 the newspaper came under the control of the Kreuger family, when a majority of the shares was bought by Swedish Match, at that time the heart of Ivar Kreuger's corporate empire. Aftonbladet was labeled "neutral". In 1932 it backed Per Albin Hansson's new Social Democratic government. Just a few years later it realigned with the Liberal Party and turned to advocate liberal politics. Heavily influenced by pro-German staff members, the newspaper supported Germany during World War II.[10]

The Kreuger era came to an end on 8 October 1956. Despite interest from both the Liberal Party and the Centre Party, Torsten Kreuger sold Aftonbladet as well as Stockholms-Tidningen to the Swedish Trade Union Confederation.[11] The ownership change was first followed by a slight drop in circulation. In the 1960s, however, the newspaper saw its circulation surge rapidly, peaking at 507,000.

By the early 1990s Aftonbladet had run into economic problems, and many had begun to question the competence of the trade union movement as a media owner. On 2 May 1996, the Norwegian media group Schibsted acquired a 49.9 percent stake in the newspaper. The Swedish Trade Union Confederation kept the remaining 50.1 percent of its shares. The same year its circulation passed that of long-time tabloid rival Expressen. In 2005 Aftonbladet started a Web portal for business news as a joint venture with Svenska Dagbladet.[12]

In 1998 the circulation of Aftonbladet was 397,000 copies on weekdays and 502,000 copies on Sundays.[13] The circulation of the paper was 402,000 copies in 2001.[8] As of 2004 the paper was the most selling daily both in Sweden and in other Nordic countries, having a circulation of 422,000 copies.[2] It was 429,000 copies on weekdays in 2005.[14] In 2006 the paper had 1,425,000 daily readers (Orvesto research 2005:2), circa 15% of the Swedish population. The paper had a circulation of 310,900 copies in 2010.[15] It had a circulation of 154,900 copies in 2014.[16]

Internet publishing[edit]

Aftonbladet adopted Internet publishing early on. It has been published on the world wide web since 25 August 1994, and the main news service is free. Since its inception, aftonbladet.se has consistently been rated as one of the five most visited Swedish websites in various surveys.

Criticism[edit]

The journalistic quality of Aftonbladet has sometimes been questioned. In late 2006, the newspaper's own journalist Peter Kadhammar directed criticism at the fact that his own paper appears to treat the love life of Swedish tabloid celebrity Linda Rosing as equally important to the war in Iraq.[17]

The Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman claimed that Aftonbladet was the main media force behind echoing his alleged financial misdeeds, which finally led to Bergman's self-imposed exile to Munich in the 1970s. In his memoir book Laterna Magica, Bergman called Aftonbladet a rubbish yellow paper which had deliberately aimed to tarnish his reputation.[citation needed]

Controversy surrounding coverage of Israel[edit]

Many newspapers in Sweden, besides Aftonbladet, have a critical eye towards Israel. However, some commentators have argued that Aftonbladet in doing this, too often contain content that alludes to antisemitism.[18][19][20][21] Per Ahlmark, former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and founder of the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism, writes in his 2004 book Det är demokratin, dumbom! ("It's the Democracy, Stupid!"): "Aftonbladet is of course worst among the big newspapers when it comes to both playing on antisemitic strings and then denying that they have done so".[19]

Much of these criticism was rehashed in 2009 when Aftonbladet ran an article[22] alleging that in 1992 the Israeli Defense Force took organs from Palestinians who died in Israeli custody. Jonathan Leman and Charlotte Wiberg from the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism acknowledges that while Aftonbladet stay just clear of being antisemitic, the op-ed fell into a long-established and problematic pattern of publishing content that is awfully close to outright antisemitism in a way that few other newspapers in Sweden does.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Karl Erik Gustafsson; Per Rydén (2010). A History of the Press in Sweden (PDF). Gothenburg: Nordicom. ISBN 978-91-86523-08-4. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "The press in Sweden". BBC News. 2004. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Byron J. Nordstrom (2010). Culture and Customs of Sweden. ABC-CLIO. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-313-34371-1. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Lennart Weibull (2013). "What has Happened with the Political Press? Perspectives on the Erosion in Swedish Newspaper Readership". In Henrik Oscarsson; Stefan Dahlberg; Lena Wängnerud. Stepping Stones (PDF). Göteburg: University of Gothenburg. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Eva Harrie (2009). "The Nordic Media Market" (PDF). Nordicom, University of Gothenburg. Göteborg. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Sigurd Allern; Mark Blach-Ørsten (2011). "The News Media as a Political Institution". Journalism Studies 12 (1). doi:10.1080/1461670X.2010.511958. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  7. ^ DI.se[dead link]
  8. ^ a b Adam Smith (15 November 2002). "Europe's Top Papers". campaign. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Aftonbladet blev starten för den fria pressen i Sverige Aftonbladet, Retrieved 11 July 2007'.
  10. ^ Hierta, the founder of Aftonbladet, created the free press in Sweden Aftonbladet, Retrieved 24 August 2009
  11. ^ Newspapers in International Librarianship: Papers Presented by the Newspaper Section at IFLA General Conferences. Walter de Gruyter. 1 January 2003. p. 18. ISBN 978-3-11-096279-6. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Maria Grafström (2006). "The Development of Swedish Business Journalism" (PhD Thesis). Uppsala University. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  13. ^ Stig Hadenius; Lennart Weibull (1999). "The Swedish Newspaper System in the Late 1990s. Tradition and Transition" (PDF). Nordicom Review 1 (1). Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Swedish mass media" (PDF). Swedish Institute. 2006. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Aftonbladet". Nationalencyklopedin (in Swedish). Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "PwC's Media Certificate". PwC. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "Rosing, Rosing, Rosing... hjälp!". Aftonbladet. 
  18. ^ Wolodarski, Peter (2 April 2002). "Den farligaste av lögner" [The most dangerous av lies]. Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  19. ^ a b Ahlmark, Per (2004). Det är demokratin, dumbom! [It's the Democracy, Stupid!]. Timbro (in Swedish) (Stockholm). p. 80. ISBN 91-7566-548-4. Aftonbladet är naturligtvis värst av de stora tidningarna när det gäller att både spela på antisemitiska strängar och sen förneka att man gjort så. 
  20. ^ Bachner, Henrik (1999). Återkomsten : antisemitism i Sverige efter 1945 [The Revival: Antisemitism in Sweden since 1945]. Natur och kultur (in Swedish) (Stockholm). ISBN 91-27-07641-5. 
  21. ^ Judisk Krönika. 2006. 
  22. ^ ""Our sons are plundered of their organs"". Aftonbladet. 
  23. ^ Charlotte Wiberg; Jonathan Leman (23 August 2009). "Aftonbladet har sedan länge ett problematiskt förhållande till judar" [Aftonbladet has for long had a problematic relationship to Jews]. Newsmill (in Swedish). Retrieved 24 August 2009. Är Aftonbladet en antisemitisk tidning? Nej, men det verkar som att man sedan 1980-talet ibland gör sig både blind och döv inför antisemitismens uttryck, vilket medför att man då och då slirar på ett sätt som få andra tidningar. Publiceringen av Boströms artikel tycks tyvärr inte ha varit ett olycksfall i arbetet, utan går att som ett led i ett större mönster. 

External links[edit]