“A friend in need is a real friendindeed” : A study about the Sveriges Radio Media Development Office (SR MDO) and the perception of a post-colonial impact

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för mediestudier


Free Media is an essential part of democracy, a goal Sveriges Radio’s Development Program is aiming for. Existing since 1996 based on tax-financing, it offers its long experiences of public broadcasting and its ideal of serving democracy to other countries. The partaking Sveriges Radio journalists provide the countries with assistance for training in management, journalism and technical issues in both broadcasting, print and online media. The present research investigates based on the interviewees’ perceptions to what extent Swedish democracy and Swedish journalistic identity is transmitted during their media (radio) development projects, using post-colonial theory as a guiding theoretical approach. The study is based on interviews with Swedish and foreign journalists who have been involved in radio development projects. The study shows that despite common understandings of democracy and professional aims, differences occur based on the perception of the participants. These cannot be separated from the context and progress outcome of the projects. The study furthermore shows that there exists an ambivalence between the post-colonial awareness among participants.

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