Reporters Without Borders: Swedish Journalism Under Threat, Could Become Propaganda

A photo taken on September 10, 2018 in Stockholm shows a selection of front pages of Swedi

NGO Reporters Without Borders has warned that Sweden’s independent journalism is under threat and that public broadcasters could become propaganda outlets for the government.

Erik Halkjaer, chairman of Reporters Without Borders, said that broadcasters like Sveriges Radio and SVT risk losing independent journalism, Nyheter Idag reports.

Nyheter Idag claimed that an example of what Halkjaer warns about could be seen in a 2015 report by public service broadcaster SVT, which claimed many asylum seekers during the height of the migrant crisis were well-educated.

The article, which was published in June of 2015, stated: “More than half of the Syrian refugees who come here have occupations that are in demand in Sweden.”

“Every third Syrian who comes to Sweden has a post-secondary education,” the article continued, and claimed that many also were professionals in high-demand jobs in Sweden.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that many migrants actually have very poor educations, with some even being considered illiterate.

The claims come as several municipalities who took in large numbers of asylum seekers say they are facing a financial crisis due to the fact that many of the asylum seekers are unable to find work and successfully join the labour market.

The municipality Hässleholm alone has stated that 80 per cent of asylum seekers living there are without work and remain dependent on state benefits.

Bengtsfors, another municipality that took in many migrants, has even petitioned the Swedish national government for more cash stating that it faces potential bankruptcy.

Halkjaer claimed that countries like Poland and Hungary have governments that control journalistic content.

“In Poland and also in Hungary we have seen a politicisation of public service. Where the government party simply controls the content,”  he said, and claimed that there has been an increased hostility toward journalists as well as an increase in threats.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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