New Demands on Editorial Leadership. Perceived Changes in Swedish Newspaper Management.

Ulrika Andersson, Jenny Wiik


The last decades in the development of news production have accentuated the need for increased managerial skills among editorial leaders. This need is followed by discursive notions connecting management levels across sectors, including the sector of news production. The managerial ideology features globalization of values and economy in the labor market, as well as in the area of communication, and promotes streamlining of organizational models in line with a business thinking common to several industries. This kind of management ideology has implications for all levels of news work and, above all, emphasizes audience orientation to a further extent than before. Our article focuses on how editorial leaders in Sweden perceive their own role as leaders to be changing and why. It does so by drawing empirical support from a mixed methods design of three surveys of editors-in-chief in Sweden, conducted in 2005, 2010, and 2011. The result reveals that editorial leaders are strongly embracing values characterized by managerialism by bringing the key values of profit, efficiency, and leadership into the newsroom. They also perceive their managerial influence to have increased in the newsroom. As this kind of leadership is rather new to Scandinavian news media, the article discusses what kind of implications this new form of leadership may have for news organizations in facing new challenges.


Editorial leadership, Journalism, Management, Market orientation, News work

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