Representatives from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in Brazil discussed freedom of expression in their respective countries
The ambassadors of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden promoted, this Monday (13.Mar.2023), an event on media transparency and how communication vehicles can be partners in democracy.
According to the Swedish ambassador to Brazil, Karin Wallensteen, the press, public or private, is “one of society’s main tools to expose and portray failures and deficiencies in the system [governamental]”.
Wallensteen also mentions the insecurity of journalists during the exercise of their profession. “Digitization and the rapid flow of messages make it easier to threaten journalists. This is an approach that 1 in 3 Swedish and Swedish journalists have tried”, said the representative of Sweden in Brazil.
Danish Ambassador Eva Pedersen said citizens’ trust level in traditional media companies is high and explained how newspapers have minimized hate speech on their online pages.
“Several Danish newspapers eliminated the space for comments by readers and I see that here in Brazil comments are still open. It obviously has a downside, [porque] limits the possibility of democratic participation. But, on the other hand, it is a way to avoid aggressiveness.”, said Pedersen.
The Danish ambassador also mentioned the “Tech for Democracy” policy. Implemented in 2021, the initiative brings together representatives of governments, multilateral organizations, the technology industry and civil society to “make technology work for democracy and human rights, not against them”.
The Ambassador of Finland, Johanna Karanko mentioned that “media literacy is a basic citizen skill”. According to the ambassador, children in Finnish schools learn to recognize possibly fake news from the early grades of education. “We demand that the news be true”, said Karanko.
According to the representative of Finland in Brazil, 85% of Finns say they trust their compatriots, the highest percentage in the European Union and, according to her, citizens’ trust in the press has increased after the start of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine .
The Norwegian ambassador to Brazil, Odd Ruud, stated that “Norwegian media is based on trust” and cited the country’s Transparency Law, which determines that large Norwegian companies, inside and outside the national territory, publish reports on human and labor rights practices towards their employees.
The ambassador also mentioned the code of conduct and ethics implemented in Norwegian media outlets and explained that the practice “serves as a guide to ensure ethics and production quality”.
According to report by the international organization Reporters Without Borders, the 4 Nordic countries were among the 5 countries in the world with the greatest freedom of the press in 2022:
- Norway – 1st place;
- Denmark – 2nd place;
- Sweden – 3rd place;
- Finland – 5th place.