This is kind of old, but it’s just been brought to my attention.
In October of last year, the Financial Times reported that the Public Health Institute of Iceland had urged the Icelandic media to spin stories to make them more positive, allegedly to save us Nicelanders from depression.
Amid fears that collective funk could lead to long-term health problems for the small and tight-knit population, the state Public Health Institute is trying to “re-educate” news organisations to be more “constructive” in their coverage.
I don’t know about you, but I find words like “constructive” and “re-educate” in this context highly disturbing.
A short while after the above appeared, RÚV’s morning radio programme, renowned for excellent news analysis and coverage of current affairs, was cancelled, allegedly due to cutbacks.
Meanwhile, since the more recent cutbacks on RÚV [state broadcaster], current affairs programme Kastljós — which was always pretty good in its coverage — has become a shadow of its former self and just plain sad to watch. RÚV also dropped the programme Fréttaaukinn, a news analysis programme that was shown on Sunday nights. And last year, Stöð 2 [owned by oligarch Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson] cancelled Kompáss, one of the top investigative reporting programmes in this country.
All this is very alarming in these troubled times, when a free and critical media is more essential than ever before [save for the months preceding the collapse, maybe].
I just hope they keep their hands off Spegillinn, which is about the only decent news analysis programme left.