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The Corruption of Press Ethics in Sweden

Could it be any more corrupt? From Laholms Tidning 29 December 2011 23:30.

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Our rules for press ethics have been minimising lies and libel for a long time. Those rules have been successively discarded, leading to harm of individuals and a serious lack of trust in our media.

The picture of our king published immediately before the holidays is yet another example of the ethical decay. Our media had been writing about this picture for months: a picture that purportedly depicted the king in a compromising situation. But it was found when the picture was finally published that it was a Photoshop job. In other words: a lie had been the basis of a feverish campaign against our formal head of state.

We see innumerable examples of this lack of respect for press ethics: individuals being smeared and defamed, reality being twisted, no one bothering to check the facts. Harmful judgement calls and guilt by association being used without discretion, by supposedly good writers.

Protecting and defending one's sources has been a code of honour for our media - but even that is eroding

Aftonbladet & GITMO

Aftonbladet published sensational details about GITMO in April, using WikiLeaks as their declared source. Bradley Manning was already in custody and subjected to what has been described as tortuous conditions.

The day before Aftonbladet published the scoops they got from WikiLeaks, they attacked their own sources in an infamous column by Jan Guillou. Guillou called the WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange 'a little creep', a judgement call Aftonbladet's editor Jan Helin allows for his own source.

And he also allows an even more remarkable admonition in the same column directed at Bradley Manning, that Manning should come out and admit in public that he's the WikiLeaks source.

So at the same time Aftonbladet are preparing the publication of secret source material, they publish a challenge to the suspected source, a source they're required by the Swedish constitution to protect, asking him to step forward.

It is now clear, after that first judicial event, that Bradley Manning can't count on any support from Swedish media, from the very companies that have in such case profited by him.

Bradley Manning should reasonably defend himself by pointing out he contributed to revealing US war crimes and high democratic ideals therefore excuse his leak of the information.
 - Aftonbladet columnist and former KGB spy Jan Guillou

They curtsy and bow and grab at the sensational revelations of WikiLeaks (which may have come via Manning) but they remain neutral or indifferent when their purported source is threatened with capital punishment or a life in prison.

The prosecution of Bradley Manning is mentioned as a minor news item, one amongst many. There's no way to see this as anything but a gross betrayal.

Not even Assange can count on support from the Swedish media who've used his source material.

Politicians in the US have openly encouraged Assange's assassination - no protests from the Swedish media. Sweden's leading journalists march instead to the beat of different drum - that of the powers that be.

And a 'cultural editor' at Expressen going by the name Karin Olsson writes in an international smear article that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a 'paranoid chauvinist pig'.

That's our current level of press ethics in Sweden. That's a serious situation.

Could it be any more corrupt?
 - J Tribbiani

Du gamla, du fria, du fjällhöga nord, du tysta, du glädjerika sköna
Du tronar på minnen från fornstora dar då ärat ditt namn flög över jorden
Jag hälsar dig vänaste land uppå jord, din sol, din himmel, dina ängder gröna
 - Swedish de facto 'national anthem'

See Also
Laholms Tidning: En pressetik som är satt ur spel

Hall of Monkeys: Candypig & Humpty Dumpty
Heroes Banquet: Flashback Stops Witch Trial of Assange
Hall of Monkeys: Jan Guillou Comes Out of Retirement to Bark

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