Journalistic integrity, anyone? English
Yet again, I find myself reading. What caught my eye this time was an article (only in Swedish, sorry) at aftonbladet.se, a site that at least on the surface tries to pass itself off as dealing with news and entertainment. The article is a poorly written and obviously angled piece aimed at making horse racing seem like the best idea since sliced bread. While this in itself isn’t what made me go into rant-mode, the signature was.
At the bottom of the article we find the signature of the writer; it’s signed Minimedia and posted by Madeleine Brohlin (aftonbladets editor for equine-related sports). This is where it starts getting interesting. Employing what can only be described as my wits, I find Minimedias site. Their top banner says, “We make unique concepts for the web”. This is a rather fuzzy concept in and of itself but while browsing around a bit on their site, it looks and sounds like they are an ad-firm with a specific area of expertise: Marketing on the internet. So… we have an article that is obviously written to push a concept that might not be as golden as its made to seem – a fancy ad. This is really damn bad – ads made indistinguishable from the actual news at a site about news? Come on, that’s not playing fair even by the most morally flexible standards… but it doesn’t end there. While browsing around the site, I found their contact-page where they line up the bigwigs and their e-mails and phone-numbers. Minimedias “creative director” and founder is a man named Lars Östling, a name that probably doesn’t mean much to people (including me)… so I decided to do a bit of googling (yes, that’s a bloody word these days!) to see what I could find. Lars Östling used to be the main sports editor for… yeah, you guessed it: Aftonbladet. This doesn’t smell right to me anywhere.
While aftonbladet never really registered for me as a serious newspaper anymore, it’s still sad to see something like this happen. Integrity seems to be a dead concept to people, and for every day that passes it feels like journalism is dying. I’d like to see more investigative journalism, and not just a regurgitation of the stories that show up on TT or Reuters. Am I really the only one who miss reading actual news?