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New Duo in the Medier & Demokrati Management Team

With the change of calendar year from 2018 to 2019, two new members joined Medier & Demokrati's management team: media researchers Ulrika Andersson and Bengt Johansson.

Ulrika Andersson and Bengt Johansson are two members in the Medier & Demokatri management team

'We are really fortunate that these two very competent and creative researchers are now joining the management team,' says Chairman Jonathan Falck.

Ulrika Andersson and Bengt Johansson are both already involved with Medier & Demokrati. Ulrika Andersson has worked with Medier & Demokrati as a research consultant (You can read more about Ulrika here) and Bengt Johansson has been a part of the program's reference group work since the beginning. The latter is a work process where representatives from the media, academics and social institutions meet three to six times during the year to identify and discuss challenges within the development of media and democracy. These challenges can lead to concrete projects.

Here is a short interview with Bengt Johansson:

What is your academic background and focus?
'I am a professor in journalism and mass communications at JMG, University of Gothenburg. My research has, in some way, always focussed on media, power and democracy. I have written and instructed for many years on the importance of the news media in shaping political opinion, as well as how we handle various types of crisis. Right now, I am writing a book together with my colleague Jesper Strömbäck on how the news media followed the 2018 parliamentary election. I am also working on plans for how a European research network can study the 2019 election for the European Parliament.'

What do you think is Medier & Demokrati's most valuable role?
'It is a valuable platform between academics and trade. I have attended several of the meetings and found them very inspiring. People who may not have otherwise met are given the opportunity to sit down and exchange and discuss ideas about challenges for the media and democracy. We have also seen concrete projects come directly from these conversations.'

What do you think your most important contributions will be in the management team?
'Since I have a background in research on political communication, maybe I can offer a deeper perspective of the democratic element in Medier & Demokrati.'

If you can choose three tracks: what are the most important areas in media and research to learn more about?
'I think that all sectors, including media and research, need to sometimes question foregone conclusions. Why do we do it like this? Do we actually know if it works, etc.? When it comes to the media, you can never get away from the knowledge that the rapid development in media creates major challenges. But you also have to remember to look at the past. The advancement in technology has happened before and maybe we can also learn from history and not be blinded by the present.'

At the end of the year, Ingela Wadbring, media professor at Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall, will leave the management team. Ingela Wadbring has had an important and valuable role in establishing the research and innovation program.

'Ingela has made been very important to the positive development of Medier & Demokrati with her professionalism, experience and insight in the media world. She has supported us since the program was planned,' says Jonathan Falck. 

The steering committee consists of the following members:

- Ulrika Andersson, advisor, SOM-institutet
- Jeanette Gustafsdotter, ceo Tidningsutgivarna
- Bengt Johansson, professor Göteborgs universitet
- Robert Olsson, director SVT Samhälle
- Jonathan Falck, chairman, senior advisor Medier & demokrati
- Martin Svensson, program director Lindholmen Science Park
- Martin Holmberg, program manager Medier & demokrati