Swedish Radio in 2022

19th January 2022
2022 will be an intense year. Swedish Radio’s CEO Cilla Benkö points out several major efforts that await and what Sveriges Radio contributes to the Swedish media landscape.
Cilla Benkö Swedish Radio
Cilla Benkö. Credit: Mattias Ahlm/Sveriges Radio

This article was originally published by Swedish Radio. Republished with permission.

A new year has just begun. A worldwide pandemic is still raging and for many, 2022 will once again be a year where everyday life is not quite the same. So also for us at Swedish Radio. We work tirelessly to provide the best possible reporting on the pandemic, which has been the biggest issue for us both in terms of content and practice in recent years. It has been a challenge and continues to be so. But we sincerely hope that we can soon return to a more normal state. Until then, we will keep you updated with everything that happens.

We also see that Swedish Radio is regularly debated. That’s obviously fine. Today we have a historically high reach with about 7.4 million listeners per week. We must tolerate being reviewed, discussed and criticized. Sometimes we do content that is exceptionally good, sometimes we do things that are less good. But one thing is important, that the debate that is being conducted is based on facts. Here are some figures about the company Sveriges Radio that can be good to know, regardless of whether you like what you hear or want to see changes.

For a couple of years now, Sveriges Radio has had a vision that is very simple: “More voices and stronger stories for a greater understanding”. We try to live up to it in different ways every day. A greater understanding does not mean that everyone should think alike or that there is only one perspective. On the contrary, we believe that a democratic society feels best when we share the views of others, even if they differ from your own. We want to be an open arena for debate and dialogue and work to ensure that facts are set against facts and opinions against opinions. 2022 is an election year and to investigate and let the debates flow will of course be one of the most important tasks we have in the coming months, if not the most important.

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We will of course examine, describe and monitor the big issues of the election – both those that politicians decide to highlight but above all what we think may be important for our large audience but which may not be exactly what our elected politicians choose to talk about.

Sveriges Radio is the national medium that is present in most places around the country – partly through our permanent editorial offices but also with the help of technology that we have developed ourselves. This means that we can be on site in all of the country’s 290 municipalities – something we also measure several times a year. We want to contribute knowledge without telling you who are listening what you should think. It is through us that you can have a strong local presence, linked to expert knowledge in a number of different genres and at the same time the national and international perspective via the Nordic region’s largest correspondent network.

“We also see that Swedish Radio is regularly debated. … But one thing is important, that the debate that is being conducted is based on facts” – Cilla Benkö

An increasingly important issue is how the media, through their coverage, are able to connect the local with the national and also what is happening internationally. We work actively to do just this during the election year because the local events and decisions are often connected with both the national events and the major decisive international events. That is why this year we are investing extra energy in impartial social journalism, but the 140,000 hours of radio we give the audience this year will also offer both a lot of laughter and maybe one or two tears. We must also be able to fulfill our role as company in everyday life.

Swedish Radio office
The canal house where Sweden's Television, Sweden's Radio and the Education Radio have their operations. Credit: Jeppe Gustafsson /

Programming and development

In 2022, we will continue to give you a fantastic and wide range of programs, live broadcasts, new podcasts. Today, Wednesday 19 January at 11.00, a selection of these were presented at a Presentation, which anyone can view here. In 2022, you will also notice developments in several areas.

In 2022, we will:

· Develop our own app Sveriges Radio Play to develop even more towards giving you all the listening in one place. In the app you will find the best radio channels, the best podcasts and news based on you swiping and listening – not watching and reading.

· Regularly continue to be present in all municipalities in the country and have an increased and more frequent presence in several places around the country.

· Invest extra in in-depth journalism in five areas: security policy, science, climate and environment, economics and the humanities.

· Order newly written music and participate in a large number of collaborations with the country’s various cultural institutions. Swedish Radio will continue to be the country’s largest cultural scene.

· Further develop our foreign surveillance with new services, more commentary and more in-depth study.

· Continue to monitor, review and describe the pandemic and its effects, both here at home in Sweden and around the world.

· Continue to streamline the business so that as much of what you pay should go to content. Of this year’s total budget, 85 percent goes to news, society, culture, music and traffic information . Four percent goes to sports and then it is mainly about Radiosporten whose Sportextra on Sundays attracts a million viewers. Seven percent goes to entertainment * and then it is, for example, about big titles like Melodikrysset and Ring so we play – two programs that each week attract between 1.5-1.8 million to the devices.

And yes – that we have a stable economy and are able to give the audience both the wide and the slightly narrower matters. For SEK 1.31 / day, Sveriges Radio’s part of the public service fee, everyone who currently pays for Sveriges Radio gets: P1, P2, P3, P4, all local channels, content in ten different languages, perhaps the world’s best choir and a leading symphony orchestra, and not least our entire digital range with, among other things, all our podcasts. And of course 240 hours of local broadcasts every weekday on P4’s 25 local channels with the local voices, news, debates and culture.

I know I’m bias, but it might be worth stopping by and thinking about what else you can get today for SEK 1.31 per day.

Cilla Benkö is the CEO of Swedish Radio and a PMA Board Member