I was part of a panel debate on Monday night at Bloggforum in Stockholm along with several of the most distinguished Swedish bloggers. The first panel included for example liberal thinker Johan Norberg who after the panel went on to participate in a debate at the Publishers’ Club, Publicistklubben. Norberg summarized his experiences in an interesting article in Smejdan and on his blog. He writes: “[…]Publicistklubben was an old, tired and homogenous club for buddies in Swedish radio, discussing how to avoid criticism from outside, which they considered dangerous. Bloggforum, on the other hand, was a wonderful meeting of energetic bloggers from all sides, with ideas, a belief in the power of arguments, and a conviction that criticism and competition is something important that makes you better. When I despaired about old media at Publicistklubben, I was comforted by the fact that I had already seen a better future at Bloggforum.”
He continues: “I have rarely seen such separate worlds. At Bloggforum there was a touching unity about the fact that critisism, conflict and competition are the very breath of life for media. It is because bloggers constantly monitor and critizise each other that you are forced to check your sources, sharpen your arguments and improve your analysis. It is the guarantee for the readers. If someone continues to make mistakes or lie, dissatisfaction spreads across the net and you lose credibility and readers.
Only fifteen minutes away, were representatives from the old monopoly media and argued that it was scary that it has become allowed to scrutinize their reporting.”
During Bloggforum, Norberg touched upon the question on why there are more liberal bloggers in Sweden that leftist. As part of the explanation both during the panel and on his blog, Norberg blames media.
“EXPLAINING THE LIBERAL BLOG EXPLOSION: Another of the big discussions at Bloggforum was why classical liberals, libertarians and free-marketeers seem to be more active bloggers. This was my guess when I got the question:
– We are more dissatisfied with the media, so we have to be the media ourselves to get our point of view across.”
[Two more points found in original article here.]
Most uf us who are familiar with Swedish press, know that 8 out of the 10 largest (paid) papers in Sweden are liberal or conservative, and one of the other two is Dagens Industri, who hardly can be categorized as social democratic in its reporting. So how can liberal bloggers be dissatisfied with their own media?
Sweden’s 10 largest papers:
1. Aftonbladet: “independent social democrat”
2. Dagens Nyheter “independent liberal”
3. Expressen: “liberal”
4. Göteborgs-Posten: “liberal”
5. Svenska Dagbladet, “independent conservative”
6. Sydsvenskan: “independent liberal”
7. Dagens Industri: “independent”
8. Nerikes Allehanda: “liberal”
9. Östgöta Correspondenten: “independent conservative”
10. Upsala Nya Tidning: “liberal”
[Edit: I placed DN and Expressen in wrong order]