Promoting Facebook groups is a breach of the Swedish Radio and Television Act

A verdict today from The Swedish Broadcasting Commission (Granskningsnämnden för radio och TV) declared that public service radio and tv shows that encouraged listeners to join or discuss a topic in a Facebook group, were in breach of the Swedish Radio and Television Act.

facebook The Commission slammed the radio shows “Ring så spelar vi” in channel P4 and “Förmiddag” in the local channel P4 Kristianstad for encouraging listeners to join their respective Facebook groups. And the tv news show Sydnytt on SVT1 encouraged viewers to state their opinion on a certain topic on a Facebook page. That was also interpreted as being in breach of the Radio and Television Act because it was improper favoritism of a commercial enterprise.

One can question whether the law is really in tune with the current trends in the media landscape.

Update: According to the Commission, it is accepted to inform the public of the existence of a Facebook page or group, but encouraging listeners or viewers to join them is considered one step too far.

Health care site named best Swedish site

Internetworld tonight presented the list of the web sites it ranks as the 100 best in Sweden. The winning site this year was the health care site OmVård ( which presents statistics from different health care providers so that patients can make an informed decision about where to turn for health care. As a curiosity, it’s interesting that the top Swedish site only has links from 7 other sites (in Google).

Among the traditional media companies, these were the ones that made it to the top 100 list.

2. SVT : Best media site
5. TV4
7. : Best news site
21. SvD
69. Nyheter 24
71. Viasat on demand
82. SR

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SVT finds Pirate Bay both guilty and not guilty

The four men behind the bittorrent tracker the Pirate Bay today was sentenced to one year in jail and 30 million kronor in damages. But a few minutes before the verdic was announced, SVT – the Swedish public service television – published two articles online, one in which the team behind the Pirate Bay was acquitted and one in which it was found guilty. See screen dump here.


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Play Rapport had 50,000 viewers first day

A few days ago the Swedish public service tv SVT launched Play Rapport, a news web tv channel with streaming video. It is an online version of the news show Rapport and it will be led by legendary news anchor Claes Elfsberg. The content will focus on short news items from Sweden and the world that have a strong visual element. Today at StockholmMediaWeek SVT’s Programme Director Annie Wegelius revealed that Play Rapport had 50,000 viewers during launch day and 25,000 viewers the second day, still just a fraction of the number of tv viewers of course.

Wegelius said that there is a higher proportion of viewers that choose the web tv versions of SVT material in the drama productions than for news. SVT posts three episodes each Sunday online of the drama series Andra Avenyn which then is broadcasted on regular tv three nights in a row. One in ten viewers of Andra Avenyn watches on the web, while the ratio for news is still only one to a hundred. With the introduction of Play Rapport SVT aims to improve those stats.

SVT publishes everything they own the rights to online on SVT Play for 30 days and there are currently 2,000 shows available at SVT Play.

Footnoote: The number of viewers for Rapport dropped by 10-15 percent in January compared to the same month 2007.

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Swedish Television: Blogging is not ok

One of the leading Swedish bloggers, journalist Per Gudmundson has decided to quit blogging. He had come clean with his employer SVT (Swedish public service television) about his blog and his boss noted that the blog articles goes against the policy for SVT journalists to refrain from public statements or actions that might jeopardize the objectivity of the company [SVT]. And since blogging is a job at below minimum wage his decision was pretty easy. Job: yes. Blog: no.

Per says in his final blog post that “the blog is stopping me in my career and I need to move on”.

Sadly one of the few blogging journalists and one of the best blogs will be no more in the blogosphere. For some, blogs will be a career booster but for others it will be an obstacle. About three weeks ago Gudmundson was named Sweden’s fourth most influential blogger by media monitoring company Observer, but that information cannot have reached his boss at SVT.

UPDATE: Tobias Billström, member of the Swedish Parliament says about the decision:

– I question the management’s evaluation of Per Gudmunson’s blog. Of course a journalist can’t watch a demonstration he participates in himself, but to comment on different courses of events on a blog is not a problem for impartiality.