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SVT news 'favours the left': Moderate MPs

David Landes · 8 Oct 2009, 15:55

Published: 08 Oct 2009 15:55 GMT+02:00

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The legislative proposal, presented by Jan R. Andersson and Peder Wachtmeister, has ruffled feathers among the top brass at SVT.

“Without a doubt, the proposal gives rise to thoughts about Berlusconi’s television policies,” SVT head Eva Hamilton told the Expressen newspaper, invoking the controversial media stance of Italian media mogul and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The two centre-right legislators argue that SVT violates objectivity requirements to the benefit of parties on the left.

“A majority of segments portray the red-green parties, and especially the Social Democrats, in a better light than the [centre-right] Alliance,” write Andersson and Wachtmeister.

In order to remedy the perceived bias, the pair propose establishing “an independent and apolitical commission which continually reviews SVT’s broadcasts in order to guarantee its political independence”.

Mats Knutson, a political commentator with the public broadcaster’s Rapport news programme, was also quick to condemn the proposal.

“These two Riksdag members clearly want SVT news broadcasts to be placed under some sort of political control. It would be totally devastating to the independence we have today. It sounds crazy,” he told the newspaper.

The head of the Moderate Party’s parliamentary group, Lars Lindblad, also distanced himself from the proposal, claiming it didn’t represent the party’s official stance on the issue.

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“The set up we have now with an explicit broadcast licence and a review board fulfills the needs we have for impartiality,” he told Expressen.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

00:52 October 9, 2009 by Jan M
It is a long accepted political truth that the governing party is shackled by responsibilities. They have to deal with the day-to-day realities of running the country whereas the Opposition can get away with dancing round issues. Consequently if the media report things objectively the Opposition will very often come across favorably, particularly when the country's economy has been going down the pan and the governing party wants to sell things off to the highest bidder. However, none of that means that SVT is biased. It's essentially a common and inevitable problem of the political environment. Of course the Opposition in Sweden has a slightly tougher time of it if they insist on picking leaders of the caliber of Mona with her toblerone cravings. If the Moderates don't want to be held accountable for things by virtue of being in government it's alot simpler to resign rather than pretend that 'reforming' SVT is going to take the heat off. On a separate note I'm rather bemused that it's unconstitutional for the Primer Minister to interfere with media in relation to stories about Israel but the same law doesn't prevent politicians from seeking to influence SVT's political coverage. If anyone has a good knowledge of the country's constitutional regulations I think that would be informative in this case.
13:03 October 9, 2009 by gerillataktik
The Local 'favours the right'
13:42 October 9, 2009 by tadchem
Americans are turning away from traditional news outlets due to their perceived bias. Ever more Americans get their news from cable news (such as BBC America) and the Internet (Matt Drudge) while the broadcast networks and newspapers are losing their audience. Perhaps Sweden could find less biased reporting of Swedish News beyond their own borders.
13:45 October 9, 2009 by Beynch
That SVT favors the left is not news. It has always done so, since the early 50s. Journalists and media producers in general are known radicals. It is true in the UK and in the US too. In the US, all major networks tilt to the left, ABC, CBS, NBC(which is notorious), CNN, as do The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times. All are in the bag for the radical left. The presents a skewed picture of the opinion of the general population in the US. Media is no longer a reporter of news. It is a steerer of opinion. Only FOX (I know I'll get a fair amount of comments on this) presents a reasonably untilted storyline.
14:35 October 9, 2009 by Rick Methven
FOX NEWS presents a reasonably untilted storyline!

You must watch a different Fox to me
16:29 October 9, 2009 by mkvgtired
I definitely do not think FOX is unbiased. It most certainly does tilt to the right. I do not get my news from either source, but FOX does provide an important counterweight to all of the left leaning news outlets.
19:32 October 9, 2009 by Beynch
I knew my last two lines would get the marxists' undergarments riled up in a tiff. But weighing FOX against the poison being belched out in copius amounts in the `mainstream`(Ha!) media, FOX is a pillar of neutrality and fact. Thank God we have FOX, as a counterweight to the bottom scraping, stinking, filth coming out of MSNBC and rest of the elitist vermin.
14:07 October 10, 2009 by Rick Methven

I get it now. Any part of the media that does not twist the news to fit your own view of things are bottom scraping, stinking, filth and elitist vermin.

Got your number in one!
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