Swedish politicians lagging in the blogosphere

Every American politician that hasn’t been asleep for the last 12 months has a blog. Former Danish Prime Minister Paul Nyrup Rasmussen has two, one of his own and a Euroblog for the Euro Election Campaign. The Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi has a blog.

So what happened to the once great IT nation Sweden? Did the dotcom bust hit us so bad we’re still unable to get up and try new stuff? It is really surprising that no Swedish politicians has found the blog medium yet (at least to my knowledge, I might add). The Swedish Trade Union Confederation has just started off a blog project with 7 young people having one blog each (typical but understandable that they choose to experiment with a younger audience), but in the first four weeks they have not been able to come up with more than 20 posts in total, so it’s not that impressing. Sure there have been blogs about politics, like the election blog in 2002, but that was initiated by a consulting company called Oops AB and not run by any party or organisation.

Jan Emanuel Johansson supposedly used blogs in 2002 to get elected, but his homepage has no blog today and it has not been updated since June 2003. Since there is an election to the European Parliament on June 13, one would have expected at least one or two blogs to pop up. If you know of one, please enlighten me with a comment.

UPDATE: Fredrik Wackå informed me about Anna-Maria Linqvist Arrue who is a social democratic candidate for the European Parliament, with her own blog.

The Ministry of Justice stole articles

The Ministry of Justice in Sweden stole articles from the paper Riksdag & Departement (Parliament & Departement), writes Journalisten, the paper of The Swedish Union of Journalists. The articles were put up on the Ministry of Justice web page by a civil servant who thought the paper was an official organ of the Swedish government and that copyright was not applicable. But R & D is an independent publication and the journalists have their own copyright agreements with the editor.

R & D often is mistaken for a government publication, which upsets the editorial staff.

– It is a label that we are trying to get rid of, says reporter Staffan Thulin.

On R & D’s web page they clearly state that all material is copyright protected, but it seems that the paper is trying to look like an official publication. R & D labels itself ”Political journal from the Parliament, the Government and EU” and all journalists have email addresses with the domain name “riksdagen.se” which is the domain of the Swedish Parliament.

Slime Time

Mother Jones has a good analysis about how media with different political agendas react to the “sex rumours” about John Kerry.

“What’s a respectable media outlet to do when a story too juicy to ignore — but sleazy and unverified, and from a discredited, though occasionally accurate, source — starts making the rounds? Ignore it and miss the story? Pile on and look like scumbags when it turns out to be bogus?”