Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dagens Nyheter hits a Low Point

Dagens Nyheter is the largest paper and normally a quite serious publication. The current headline is "Räddningsarbetare Har Hastigt Insjuknat" - "Rescue Workers Suddenly Sicken". The huge lettering gives you a mental image of nuclear plant workers tumbling like bowling pins before an Invisible Radiation Scythe Of Death, blood spurting from mouth and ears in classic splatterfilm style.

If you click on the article, though, your first subheading is a quote: "Det är bara att duscha bort strålningen" - "It washes away in the shower". The article is blowing up injuries among nuclear plant workers in an attempt to build panic and increase the readership.

The pedestrian truth is a total of 25 injuries or so among plant workers, some of which were sustained in the earthquake or tsunami, not in the nuclear accident. The expert they interview, nuclear physicist Forsell-Aronsson, does her best to give calm explanations, while the reporter is trying to blow it up as much as humanly possible.

Worst bit is towards the end. The reporter: "It's hard to say, but Eva Forsell Aronsson believes that people will be able to live in Japan in the future." Followed by a direct quote from her: "The area right around the plant will have to be decontaminated. But if it's one kilometer or perhaps more is hard to say."

I really have to wonder what the reporter asked her, what she answered, and how much he had to twist the answer around to make it seem thinks all of Japan might become uninhabitable, when she clearly is only concerned a one-kilometer radius might need decontamination. Perhaps "Would you say you believe parts of Japan might remain inhabitable?" With her answer "[huh? what a moron] Well, duh, of course I believe that". And presto, the expert suddenly seems to say Japan might not.

What scares me a bit is that if Dagens Nyheter stoops to this, there's probably no limit to what the real trash rags are printing. What angers me is that all of the coverage is about the power plant, with not a word on the front page about the real disaster any more. What saddens me is that a paper I respect, a paper that I used to subscribe to when in Sweden, feels fit to sink to this level in the first place.


  1. I feel CNN is going that road as well...shame

  2. The way the media is distorting the news is really disgusting. It should probably come as no surprise that another paper is reporting that all iod tablets in Sweden have been sold out and that school children are given counseling to handle their fear of radiation.

  3. Don't lose hope. There's this non-sensational article from The Sun!

  4. @hundun, that was refreshing. I clicked on the link expecting the worst, and instead there's a brief, well-written, panic-free explanation of the whole thing.

  5. You should contribute it to the Journalist Wall of Shame:

  6. "UD uppmanar svenskar att fly från dödszonen" stod det på Aftonbladets löp häromdagen. Nu har ju UD visserligen uppmanat alla som bor inom åtta mil från kärnkraftverket att lämna det området, men jag tror ju inte att de använda ordet "dödszon."

    Men om nu UD överdriver (jag vet inte om de gör det eller ej) får man väl ha lite förståelse för det med tanke på allt skäll de fick efter tsunamin 2004. Nu kan i alla fall ingen påstå att de inte försöker.


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