Later this week, I’m heading over to Stockholm to be a guest at the annual conference of the Association of Swedish Investigative Journalists, called Gräv.
It is similar to the Norwegian conference SKUP where I was a guest last year.
I’m delighted and flattered, of course, and also very much looking forward to meeting the Swedish journos, not to mention the other guest speakers.
As far as I can tell there are seven of us from abroad, including [but not limited to!] Erin Arvedlund who was instrumental in exposing Bernie Madoff, Matt Waite, the man behind the Pulitzer-Prize winning Politifact, and Iranian journalist and activist Parvin Ardalan.
The organizers are keen to be enlightened about the state of the Icelandic media both before and after the meltdown — and not least right now. Needless to say it is in shambles at the moment, with both of the big newspapers stripped of their credibility and DV – the only media outlet that has been coming up with scoops of any kind recently – currently up for sale.
That last development is recent and is the latest cause for concern, since a rather intense power struggle seems to be brewing over who can gain control of it, at least if the “Word on the Street” column over at Eyjan is to be believed. And I think it is. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, at a time when Iceland is most in need of free and independent media, those who fear that same free and independent media should be desperate to gain control of it.
Incidentally, the Swedes are also particularly keen to hear of YT’s little episode with the Central Bank back in December 2008. After all, it was a report in a Swedish newspaper that quoted our very own Weather Report which sent the Doddsson-era CB officials on high alert. Definitely one of the more bizarre moments of writing this blog. To my knowledge the Central Bank was not bothering to contact bloggers writing in Icelandic at the time — but when those bloggers were being read by the Outside World, that was clearly a different story.