Margareta Berger was a journalist, editor and press historian with a special interest in women in journalism.
Margareta Berger was born in Lund. Her father Axel Moberg was a professor and orientalist and her mother Maria Cecilia (Ien) née Nilsson-Rodhe was the daughter of a landowner in the southern Swedish province of Småland.
Margareta Berger qualified as a gardener at Alnarp agricultural college and then studied in London to become a landscape architect. After that, in 1933—1935, she became the publisher of the Skåne garden society’s (Skånska Trädgårdsförenings) journal Täppan. She also wrote a couple of books on gardening which were published in the early 1930s. In 1935, Margareta Berger transferred to journalism on daily newspapers, as a member of the editorial office at a major southern Swedish daily, Sydsvenska Dagbladet. At the editorial office, she worked as a literary critic, among other things. She remained at Sydsvenska Dagbladet until she moved to Stockholm with her two children in the early 1950s.
In Stockholm, Margareta Berger worked at the publishers Åhlén & Åkerlund, initially as the second editor for the weekly magazine Husmodern, and then until her retirement in 1970 as the head of the company’s Christmas magazines. She was commended for her work on the magazine Julstämning. Simultaneously with her various appointments, Margareta Berger seems to have freelanced as early as the 1940s for among others the weekly magazine Vecko-Journalen and later also for the major Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. At the end of the 1960s, she also translated and adapted several Danish books on food and flowers for the series Husmoderns kakelböcker.
After her retirement, Margareta Berger was active as a press historian. She published her first book in 1974: Fruar och damer, kvinnoroller i veckopress. It was followed in 1977 by Pennskaft, kvinnliga journalister i svensk dagspress 1690–1975. Her last book came out in 1984: Äntligen ord från Qwinnohopen, om kvinnopress under 1700-talet. As an active member of the Stockholm journalists’ pensioners’ group, Seniorer, Margareta Berger was very much involved in the writing and publication in 1976 of the book Vi som var med! 23 journalistveteraner berättar.
Margareta Berger was also a member of a couple of women’s groups. In the early 1940s, she participated in a trip to Finland with the Swedish National Association of Professional Women (Yrkeskvinnors riksförbund). In the southern Swedish dailies there were reports from her lectures on the Finnish trip for various women’s clubs. She was also a member of the group of women who were active in the bookshop Kvinnfolk (Womankind) at Södermalm in Stockholm in the1970s. Harriet Clayhills and Lena Persson recount in their obituary in Dagens Nyheter that Margareta Berger’s presence at the bookshop could arouse a certain astonishment in casual customers, who were confronted by an older, friendly, infinitely cultured woman with a hearty store of will power, humour and critical intelligence under her delicate surface.
Margareta Berger died in Stockholm in the autumn of 1987 and was buried at the Galley Shipyard Cemetery on Djurgården in Stockholm.