To get a closer glimpse into American politics, Sweden’s largest TV station, TV4, is sending reporter Jenny Andersson Strömstedt and cameraman Felix Larno to Ohio, traditionally known as a swing state, to cover the election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The team will report directly from the campus of Wittenberg University, where Strömstedt, born in Stockholm, Sweden, was a student from 1991-92 through the Swedish American Foundation.
Strömstedt said she is looking forward to “taking a walk down memory lane” upon her return.
“The Swedish people, I would say, are somewhat more American than the Americans themselves,” she said. “We have a great love of your country, and a great interest in your political life.”
As part of the interesting international media engagement opportunity, the station also plans to pre-produce some segments in the area featuring both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters.
“Ohio is a swing state, and Springfield is a good place to show all the spectrums of this election,” Strömstedt said. “This is a special election.”
All total, the station is sending five teams to report from across the United States during the election.
As for wanting to report from Wittenberg’s campus, Strömstedt shared that “Wittenberg is a wonderful place to talk to young people about their hopes and dreams for the future, and of course, we have the knowledge of the professors and my history as a student to bring the stories even closer to the viewers. We would like everyone to know how extremely grateful we are to be able to come visit.”
After attending Wittenberg, Strömstedt returned home and attended Stockholm University, which led her to a career in the media. She actually started working at TV4 as a receptionist while she was still in school, then became an intern in the news department. Now a successful reporter, Strömstedt has traveled the world through her career, has been a weekly columnist at one of Sweden’s largest newspapers, has written books, and hosted major live television events in Sweden. Her current responsibilities at the station include hosting TV4’s morning program two days a week for the past 11 years.
“Back in the day, it wasn’t very common for a Swedish student to attend undergraduate studies in America, so I was lucky to be rewarded a scholarship at Wittenberg,” said Strömstedt, who is married to singer Niklas Strömstedt. “After my year at Witt – and I do wish I would have stayed longer – I went back home. I have been hosting debate and election programs, and I had my own late, late night talk show for five years.”
Strömstedt loved her time at Wittenberg and plans to be on campus Election Day visiting classes, interviewing professors and students and attending Wittenberg’s election party beginning at 8 p.m. in the Benham-Pence Student Center Dining Room (CDR). She also plans to visit local polling stations and numerous areas in Columbus.
“I had the greatest time at Wittenberg studying mainly English and art,” she said. “That year at Wittenberg helped me to explore my interests and passions and find a path for the future. I remember playing varsity volleyball with a bunch of wonderful teammates, spending endless hours in the art building and pledging to be a Sigma Kappa. I remember autumn leaves in the hollow and a crazy spring break in New York City. I remember being at the beginning of everything and owning the world.”