Paper calls robber ‘blackie’

The editor of a newspaper in western Sweden has said he will slap down a reporter after he described a robber as a 'blackie' in a news article.

The journalist was reporting on a robbery that had taken place in the town of Kungsbacka, 30 kilometres south of Gothenburg.

The journalist’s report, in the Kungsbacka Tidning newspaper, repeatedly used the word ‘svarting’. The word roughly translates as ‘blackie’ and is considered a racist term. The offending passages read:

“‘Give me the money or I’ll shoot,’ shouted the black robber. The blackie tried to rob the kiosk near Varla School on Friday in broad daylight. When the blackie realized that the shop assistant had pressed the alarm button, the robber made away. The black robber was described as 180-185 centimetres tall, very black, wearing black clothes.”

Kungsbacka Tidning has a circulation of about 4,000 in the local area. The paper’s editor, Kurt Chicho Johansson, told Aftonbladet that he had removed the word ‘svarting’ when he saw it in the headline. He said he had not read the entire article before the paper went to press, and did not know that the word was repeated elsewhere in the piece.

Johansson said he had tried unsuccessfully to contact the journalist, whose name was not reported by Aftonbladet.

“I will naturally talk to him about how unsuitable it is to use a word like that. It is not in line with our policy,” he said.