From idealist-entrepreneur to corporate executive: Provincial newspaper editors' and publishers' ways-of-thinking from the mid-1800s to the present

Monika Djerf-Pierre, Lennart Weibull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes the changes in the management of provincial newspapers in Sweden from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Five Swedish newspapers form the focus of the study: Barometern (Kalmar), Boras Tidning (Boras), Jonkopings-Posten (Jonkoping), Nya Wermlands-Tidningen (Karlstad) and Sundsvalls Tidning (Sundsvall). The article traces the development of the organizational cultures of the newspapers and the ways-of-thinking that have guided editors and publishers, in particular their ideas of the paper as a business or editorial venture, respectively. The findings indicate that changes in managerial thinking hardly follow a linear development, but are instead characterized by what is known in institutional theory as critical junctures (formative phases) and path dependency. At certain crucial points in a paper's history choices are made that continue to influence the paper's development for many years thereafter. Typically, it is the ways-of-thinking regarding the business aspects of newspaper publishing, the ideas about the newspaper's role in society and the newspapers approach to other political, cultural and social institutions that linger on.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-310
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical junctures
  • Institutional theory
  • Media history
  • Newspaper business
  • Newspapers in Sweden
  • Organizational culture

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