Only media that participate in “responsible news dissemination” should be able to receive media support, MPRT suggests. Among other things, media that “mislead about science and entrenched knowledge” should not be able to receive media support.
Linking the state support system to evaluating content advertising in this way is now receiving severe criticism.
The Tidningsutgivarna (TU) trade association “strongly rejects” the authority’s requirement to publish news responsibly. Notions and definitions of authority are vague and will provide room for self-assessments, TU believes.
There are different opinions about what constitutes established knowledge and science, writes TU, who also believes that “it is inappropriate to have a governmental authority involved in classifying the media as being responsible and irresponsible, respectively.”
It restricts freedom of expression
The Swedish Press Association is also criticizing the proposal. In their response to the consultation, they questioned the authority’s interpretation of the concept of “high-quality editorial content”. Historically, the quality of editing has been linked to the number of journalists employed and the proportion of private content. The MPRT proposal could mean introducing a new type of content review and indirect restriction of constitutionally protected freedom of expression, according to the Swedish Journalists Association.
The Publicist Club wrote that they “see with great concern” that MRPT wants to link the exercise of power to a self-regulating media ethics system that has been in place for more than 100 years. “The fact that self-regulating activities are devoid of the state and authorities is the cornerstone of the entire construction.”
The Media Ombudsman is also critical of integrating the media ethics system with state support systems.