World’s first press freedom law

Sweden, home of the world’s first press freedom law from 1776, still ranks among the very top when it comes to media independence. The law enshrines not only freedom of the press but also the public’s right of access to state-held documents under the innovative principle of “the right to information”.

The Swedish police and judiciary have become more active in combating online attacks against journalists, but it’s not uncommon to hear reports about abusive behavior. Reporting on organised crime, religious affairs and other sensitive issues can lead to real threats. While the police act decisively, the question of self-censorship remains and should be taken seriously. A recent decision to fund public service television and radio through taxation rather than a through a license fee has led to a debate about the role of public service media in the country. There are also worries around consolidation, where media ownership is transferred into fewer hands as new actors, like cable television distributors, are buying up media outlets.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



2 in 2018

Global score


8.31 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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