In February 2017, after U.S. President Donald Trump’s statements about events in Sweden, the journalist Tim Pool travelled to Sweden to report on their accuracy. What Tim Pool concluded is now available for everyone to watch on YouTube, but what is really interesting is how the Swedish public broadcasting media described him.
Why is Pool “a threat to democracy” in Sweden? He reported negatively about an urban area in Stockholm, Rinkeby, where more than 90% of the population has a foreign background. When Pool visited Rinkeby, he had to be escorted out by police. Journalists are often threatened in Rinkeby. Before this incident, in an interview with Radio Sweden, Pool had described Rosengård, an area in the Swedish city of Malmö heavily populated by immigrants, as “nice, beautiful, safe”. After Pool’s negative but accurate report about Rinkeby, however, he began to be described as an unserious journalist by many in the Swedish media, and finally was labeled the “threat to democracy.”
One might think that this was a one-time event in a country whose journalists were defensive. But the fact is that Swedish journalists are deeply politicized.
In most democratic countries, media are, or should be, critical of those who hold power. In Sweden, the media criticize those who criticizes those who hold power.
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