Feeds

Swedish bloggers give MEP a kicking over media pluralism

Job done. Now, let's actually read that report

High performance access to file storage

Sweden’s bloggers have blown a gasket over an Estonian MEP's proposal that they and their European kindred spirits should assume some kind of responsibility for their content, forcing the European parliament to rush out a statement saying there were no such plans on the table.

If anything, the Swedish blogosphere’s hysterical and often personal attacks on Estonia’s Marianne Mikko, on the basis of some off-kilter reporting by mainstream Swedish media, might bolster those who think that a focus on standards amongst journalists and/or bloggers might not actually be a bad thing.

Mikko’s report on media pluralism was adopted by the European Parliament Culture Committee almost a month ago, and suggests that there was a need to “clarify” the status of blogs and to “create legal safeguards for use in the event of lawsuits as well as to establish a right of reply”.

The committee’s statement on the report proposes other clear assaults on freedom and democracy such as “editorial charters” to stop owners, shareholders and governments interfering with editorial content, and introducing fees for the commercial use of user-generated content.

The working document for the report, published in December, raises concerns over media professionals running their own “private” blogs, suggesting that this could cause problems regarding “source protection, applicability of ethical codes and the assignment of liability in the event of lawsuits”. Similar concerns apply to blogs maintained by public figures and private citizens, it suggests.

Points worth considering perhaps, but the fact is this is an own-initiative report which has even less impact than most of the paperwork spewed out of Strasbourg.

Somewhere along the line though, Sweden's media appears to have translated this as a barely-disguised blueprint for a draconian scheme to round up bloggers, register them, and embed some kind of party-line chip, before letting them loose again as Strasbourg-supporting drones.

The response was swift, according to the EUObserver, and laced with personal attacks on Mikko, who is apparently a former journalist.

"Exchange the EU for China, and you would have a real media outcry," the site quotes Sören Karlsson, blogger and publisher of the daily Helsingborgs Dagblad.

Peter Swedenmark, an editorial writer for daily Västerbottens Folkblad, said the proposal smacked of Ceausescu's Romania "Unfortunately, in the naive proposal from Mikko, there seems to be some kinship with the Romanian line."

One Swedish politician condemned the “incredibly stupid proposal”, saying it was clear that Mikko had not shaken off her Soviet-era journalism training, the EUObserver reports.

All of which was no doubt highly therapeutic for Sweden’s blogosphere, barely a fortnight after Stockholm enacted an eavesdropping law even George Bush would envy.

Strangely, there doesn’t appear to have been any objection to Mikko’s suggestion that producers of “user-generated” content - you know, blogs and the like - should get something more than a symbolic level of compensation from mainstream media outlets for their efforts. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.