Reporting without proportions

2011-03-14 Monday
My daily reflections on this website have often – maybe too often – something to do with the writings in Dagens Nyheter. The reason is nevertheless quite natural since DN is the leading newspaper in Sweden and thus sets the agenda for a large part of the discussion. I should add that there is an overwhelming majority of center-right, what we call “borgerliga” (bourgeoisie) papers and that the Social Democrats control a shrinking number of newspapers with minute circulations and based mostly in smaller cities around the country.

In spite of the center-right dominance, media is often accused of harboring too many leftist (liberal, in US terms) journalists, which is a gross exaggeration, probably used mostly as an attempt to defend a disproportionate reality. Anyhow, since we have a tendency to point at the top, Dagens Nyheter has got the role of leading the herd.

We noticed in yesterdays DN a stunning blindness for the mass deaths and for the suffering people in Japan, in favor of an unmotivated fixation on the operational problems in a nuclear plant. Today the editor in chief seems to have sobered up, and the real and horrendous catastrophe in Japan was reasonably reported on. Only two pages were spent on the nuclear issue, mostly reporting that the problems are probably no problems… but on the other hand it’s leaking here and there, and you never know… etcetera.

Misconceptions, myths, sensationalism, and ignorance about facts are inherited from the last nuclear incident in a way so consistent that it must be considered intentional. If I should be wrong here, there is a heavy burden of proof for those who refutes that claim.

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