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Statens informationslogik och den audiovisuella upplysningen 1945—1960
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2014 (Swedish)In: Scandia, ISSN 0036-5483, Vol. 80, no 2, 66-92 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The period 1945–1960 was characterized in Swedish history by the rapidacceleration of state-led social reform. As part of this, there was a general feeling that film should be pressed into use for educational purposes. This article examines the activities of two public committees, the Committeefor Public Information (Kommittén för social upplysning, 1946–9) and the Committee for Public Information Films (Kommittén för social upplysningsfilm,1950–9). The two committees’ remit was to produce films that focused on social reform. This begs an important question. How did the use of film affect the official audiovisual information put out by the Swedish state in the period 1945–60? To better understand the conflict between official public information and the rules of the commercial film market, two different logics are considered, both defined by three variables: resources (small versus large), content (objective versus entertainment), andorganization (state/corporativism–private versus the market). The conceptof mediatization is used to understand how official public information was affected by the rules and rationale of the commercial film industry. The results indicate that there was a clear political agenda that drove the committees to make the film content in an attractive way, and the archival research shows how the committees obeyed these directions. Despite the turn in the popularization of film production, the committees took a clear standagainst trying their hand at pure entertainment. Instead, they preferred theideals of the British documentary tradition. The up shot was a compromise between the two logics. As for resources, the state logic was the determining factor here, and the committees never got much money, certainly not compared to the commercial film market. As for their organization, the committees were never able have their own rules and preferences, since the logic of the market was too strong.The analysis shows that state-controlled audiovisual information is best characterized as finding a middle way between the logic of official public information and the logic of the commercial film market. The committees’ momentum slackened in the second half of the 1950s, yet, even so, the results indicate that this should not be interpreted as a lack of faith in the audiovisual form as a force to be reckoned with in public education. Insteadit merely reflects a shift in preference from film to television.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund, 2014. Vol. 80, no 2, 66-92 p.
Keyword [en]
mediatization, John Grierson, media logic, information film, state information
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96985ISI: 000346452700004OAI: diva2:769259
Available from: 2014-12-07 Created: 2014-12-07 Last updated: 2015-07-01Bibliographically approved

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Norén, Fredrik
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