The role of the journalist has been much debated in my country Sweden recently.
- A big volume, The Nordens Biskops-Arnö Sami Volume 1995 (400 p) gives a Sami legal history for the first time in a world language.
- In that volume, I have touched the problem of the media versus the Sami minority.
- In the North, Sweden is busy with an extremely extractive exploitation.
- Sweden exploits the mines, the timber, the hydro power and the heavy motorized tourism including the Sami hunting and fishing rights without giving anything back to the aboriginal Sami population.
- Sweden has taken the valuable resources and the right to decide over them. This seems to be a proper definition of colonialism.
- Professor Atle Grahl-Madsen of Upsala-Bergen had a series of international conferences under the title Small Nations of the North.
- Meetings were held in Mariehamn, Åland, in Thorshavn, Faroes, in Kautokeino, Samiland, and in Kakortok, Greenland. These conferences are published in Denmark in an international Law Magazine.
- I am sorry to say that this subject has been very little discussed in Scandinavia after the death of professor Grahl-Madsen. It is not taken up academically, politically or by the civil servants or by the journalists.
- Among the Small Nations Åland is in possession of a well developed self government. Even Greenland and the Faroes have autonomy. Only the Sami lack it.
- Why is this issue not taken up by the well-known free and independent journalists in the Scandinavian democracies?
- I took this item up in the Nordens Biskops-Arnö Sami Volume 1995 and recently it has been widely and generally discussed by well-known Swedish publicists like Göran Rosenberg (Moderna Tider), Bengt Nerman (Why do journalists obey? Ordfront 5/1996) and Mats Svegfors (SvD September 8, 1996, page 1).
- Svegfors uses the term Samisdat, the hidden publications in Sovjet. The term Sami Samisdat has been used for the Nordens Biskops-Arnö Sami Volume 1995 and the parallels are obvious.
- Nerman, who has been for a long time professor at the Journalist University in Sweden, puts the stress on the power of the owners of the newspapers and their power by the work of the chief-editors, their interest in the advertisers and in the street buyers (single-copy purchasers).
- In the Nordens Biskops-Arnö Sami Volume existing like a real Samisdat only in about a dozen copies for economic reasons I put the stress on five factors. I will now use the Swedish terms and try to explain them.
Something that can be recognized as news by the main reader, only no "paradigm shift" allowed.
Small pieces without proper context.
Construing fake conflicts instead of the important ones.
Famous people however unimportant.
- Chief-editor power
The young enthusiastic newly-employed journalist does not get his article in it treats a non-issue and/or non-persons. After six months he knows the lesson for a very long time. Behind the editor is, of course, the owner, the advertisers and the street buyers, even the politicians and the bureaucrats are often present in a network way "they can play all the keys of the piano", a play denied the minority.
The Sami minority in Sweden has three items to adduce:
- The Altevatn judgement in the Norwegian Supreme Court 1968.
- The Skattefjäll judgement in the Swedish Supreme Court 1981.
- The Sami-Sweden agreement in court 1988.
None of these has been properly presented or discussed in the media and articles on Sami matters are refused.
The taboo on Sami matters does not dominate in the media only.
The new Swedish National Encyclopaedia is not reporting the Sami legal facts correctly and is very misleading in a "supplikant" mode about the Sami situation.
Enclosure: Speech by Tomas Cramér in Helsingfors, Finland, August 8, 1996.
Copryright 1966 till dags dato Tomas Cramér. Senast uppdaterad måndag 31 juli 2000. Sidan laddad
gånger. Webmaster Carl Cramér.