Matilda Hanson, Swedish journalist and news editor.

Swedish News Editor Learns about the Future of Print Journalism during Visit to the University of Georgia

Swedish journalist Matilda Hanson spent four days at the University of Georgia in late January learning about the U.S. media system, about investigative journalism and about economic and social issues in the state of Georgia.

Hanson is the news editor of Svenska Dagbladet, the second-largest newspaper in Sweden. The paper currently reaches 455,000 readers with its print version and more than 1.5 million readers online.

According to Hanson, American and Swedish journalism are relatively similar, so she looked forward to bringing the expertise and insights she got during her fellowship back to her own paper.

Grady College graduate students also had an opportunity to meet with Hanson and talk about a variety of topics, such as freedom of the press in Sweden and the United States, journalism education in Europe, funding of Swedish media, and investigative reporting.

"We're very inspired by American journalism," she said in an interview she did with a Grady student. "I think it's the best in the world."

Her program in Athens, organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, was part of the three-month fellowship, Transatlantic Media Network, coordinated by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

The Cox International Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and partnered with CSIS for the visit.

"A pessimist says 'Nothing can be done,'" Professor John Greenman told the guest. "I'm not entirely pessimistic regarding the future of print media, but I think a new economic model has to be developed, and I'm not sure when and how it will be created."

At present, Greenman said, "the data about U.S. print media aren't encouraging."

"I felt liberated when segregation ended here in the South, and I was glad that it happened during my life time," Dr. E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College told Hanson. "Compared to the number of people who lost their lives in the 20th century, the battle for human rights has not been a war here, but it has been a dramatic and tense process."

The Swedish editor also had meetings with Dr. Scott Shamp, director of the New Media Institute, Dr. Barry Hollander of the Journalism Department, Dr. Jeff Springston, associate dean for graduate studies, Professor David Hazinski of the Telecommunication Department, Dr. Joe Phua of the Advertising Department.

Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Cox International Center, talked with Hanson about the Center's international projects.

She also observed Dr. Lee Becker's class on journalistic writing and reporting. Dr. Becker is the director of the Cox International Center.

Hanson toured The Red & Black, the UGA student newspaper, and met Harry Montevideo, publisher. While at the paper she talked with students working for the newspaper.

Dr. Vlad took Hanson to a luncheon of the Rotary Club of the Classic City of Athens. Dr. Vlad is a member of the club.

After her departure from Athens, Hanson was to visit Savannah. The next destinations of her fellowship in the United States were Florida, Louisiana, Colorado, California and New York.