Historia på frukostbordet. Historiebruk i två nordiska dagstidningar 1987 och 2012

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

How frequently and in what ways does history figure in daily news media? This study revisits an investigation of history in two leading Scandinavian newspapers, the Danish Politiken and the Swedish Dagens Nyheter, which was undertaken in 1987. Twenty-five years later, the results of this study are compared to an investigation of historical content in the same two newspapers in 2012.
The frequency of historical material has not changed over this time period. Something the reader is likely to identify as history turns up around eight or nine times a day. This has not changed over the years. These figures include history as political argument, historical backgrounds in news articles, reviews of books or exhibitions on history, articles on museums and historical (or often rather archaeological) findings, history as entertainment on the “light” pages of the papers, and history in advertisements. Politiken had a more traditional concept of history and national history as a frame of reference was more frequent than in Dagens Nyheter. Both newspapers focused on contemporary history, with a noticeable interest in the Second World War and the post-war period, but the few articles going further back than the twentieth century occurred almost exclusively in Politiken.
These findings are discussed in terms of the different needs that history fulfils in modern society and culture. History is often used to provide orientation in contemporary affairs. But often, we use history to visit a foreign world, be it for leisure and entertainment or for a more existential need to mirror ourselves in other people’s lives and other situations. This last usage seems to be diminishing, in newspapers as well as among historians and in society at large.

Details

Authors
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History

Keywords

  • Sweden, Denmark, history usage, history didactics, popular history, history in newspapers, contemporary history
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)197-225
JournalHistorisk Tidskrift
Volume133
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes