6000 articles is enough

The perfect news story has had Swedish media in a strong grip all year. It includes the ingredients for a perfect drama: sex, murder, infidelity, jealousy, God and SMS. The story broke on January 10, 2004 with a murder in the small community of Knutby, outside of Uppsala. A 27-year-old nanny working for a pastor of the Pentecostal congregation, has confessed shooting dead his wife and trying to kill the man next door.

Since the day of the murder this has been front page news in Swedish media. A total of 6686 articles have been written so far (search on “Knutby” via Retriever online search). I would have bet a few bucks that the two leading tabloids Aftonbladet and Expressen would be the ones writing most articles, but the Pentecostal movements own paper Nya Dagen actually comes second. Upsala Nya Tidning is the local daily in the Knutby area.

Aftonbladet: 412 articles

Nya Dagen: 362

Expressen: 333

Upsala Nya Tidning: 312

GT: 304

An editor at Dagbladet yesterday said in a column in Dagens Media that the amount of coverage is “both unreasonable and justified. Unreasonable in comparison to other big stories, but justified because of the enormous interest. We want to know as much as possible about this unbelievable story”.

It is the classic question about media just giving us what we want, which I don’t accept. I say enough already! 6686 articles is quite enough.

Reuters has the article in English today. (Link via Gunnar.net)

Iraq wants to add some IQ to the net

Iraq’s media commission and the U.S.-led administration in Iraq have filed an application to ICANN for registration of the domain code “.IQ” as Iraq’s own country code on the Internet. The Iraqi chairman of the National Communications & Media Commission, Siyamend Othman, said the .IQ domain name would allow Iraqis to stake a “virtual flag” in the worldwide Internet community. (source: USA Today)

The choice of .IQ as domain name might also have other positive implications. Other countries have seen positive effects when being given a valuable domain name. For example, the small island Tuvalu leased its Internet domain name “.tv” for $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years. And another small island, Niue, got the domain name .NU which means “now” in Swedish. In 2002, there were 140,000 .NU domains registered, of which 61 per cent came from Sweden. (source: nunames.nu)

In the knowledge society of today, will the .IQ domain be as attractive?

Major Swedish media fell for oil price myth

Breaking news. Only on Media Culpa.

Many Swedish media today fell for the oil price myth. Aftonbladet reported during the day that “today the highest oil price ever was noted on the Nymex exchange in New York”. The article headline is “Oil price reached new record level today” and states that “this afternoon the highest oil price was noted in the 21 year history of Nymex exchange” and quotes the oil price from a telegram from TT, the Swedish wire service, that says the oil price was on 42 dollar per barrel for a while.



Dagens Nyheter
and Svenska Dagbladet ran the same story tonight based on a telegram from TT, claiming that the oil price “reached its highest level ever”.

News agency Direkt reported in a telegram at 21:17 tonight that “oil once again noted a record price on Nymex New York exchange” and that the oil price was at 42:32 dollar per barrel.

Having read the article on Spinsanity earlier today, I figured I’d have to check if this was adjusted for inflation. I quote Spinsanity:

But examined fairly, it’s simply not true. This myth is based on a misunderstanding of one of the most basic of economic concepts: inflation. As the general price level of products rise, a dollar today is worth less than it was in the past. The only fair way to compare the price of a good over time is to use the inflation-adjusted price.

It took me two minutes to find this chart that clearly states that the oil price was far higher 1981, if adjusted to inflation.

Chart from Inflationdata.com. Full size chart here.

Update: The articles in Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet were updated last night, and the phrase “the highest price ever” was removed from the first paragraph. The article now only states that the price is the highest in the 21 years since Nymex exchange started, which technically is true, but oil was traded before 1983, and to a higher price as this chart shows.

In the printed version of Svenska Dagbladet today there is an article with the headline “Many factors behind new record price for oil”. On the web there is a new article with the headline “Record expensive oil pressed the Asian stock markets”. Free commuter daily Metro has this as its top story today with the headline “Record high oil price”.

Oil price myth

Claims that oil prices in the US are higher than ever have frequently been reported in media. Problem is, it’s not true. Democrats are spinning this claim (and media report about it), but forget to use the inflation-adjusted price which was about 50 per cent higher in 1981. Spinsanity has the complete story today.