EXHIBIT: Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Unfolded

The freedom to express oneself in speech and writing is one of the basic human rights according to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948. Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act was passed almost 200 years earlier, in 1766.

As the first constitutionally protected freedom of the press legislation in the world, the act did not only declare freedom of the press, it also gave the citizens the legal right to scrutinize and share public documents according to the ground-breaking principle of public access to information. And all of this more than twenty years before the passing of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) and twenty-five years before the passing of the First Amendment in the US (1791).

Recurrently ranked among the top countries on any global freedom of the press index, the story of Sweden’s freedom of the press has in fact been both unexpected and eventful. This unique timeline exhibition reveals how Sweden’s freedom of the press came about and focuses on some of the advances and setbacks that have shaped it. In the words of Swedish writer August Strindberg: ‘Persecution of the press and freedom of the press go hand in hand.’

It was true when it was written in 1881. In many parts of the world it still holds
true today.

This is Sweden’s story.

Opening hours:
Saturdays & Sundays 12 pm – 5 pm
FREE admission and guide on site.
The exhibition will be on display in House of Sweden until December 10, 2016.


In partnership with: Swedish Institute.