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We must do our best

the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Lena K Samuelsson, lays down flat.

'We have made mistakes,' she writes in her comment to a harsh criticism from the Swedish pressenævn for a breach of the presseetiske rules.

the Case is severe. It refers to the former theater manager at the Stockholm city theatre Benny Fredriksson, who took his own life a year ago.

Aftonbladet wrote in the articles based on anonymous sources, that Fredriksson had a tough management style, that no one dared to say against him. That he had subjected an employee to sexual harassment, and that another had been forced to have an abortion.

argue that it is unclear whether the Aftonbladet knew the identity of those who criticised the theatre director. According to the tribunal, the newspaper has not done enough to investigate the allegations, and the articles contain highly loaded term, deeply derogatory and offensive things, as it is difficult to defend against.

After the articles pulled Benny Fredriksson from his position, and some months later, and he did not suicide. He was 58 years old. His widow, the opera singer Anne Sofie von Otter, wrote the other day in an email to Dagens Nyheter, in a comment to pressenævnskendelsen:

'I really hope that benny's death is a beauty in the heart and in the conscience of all who participated in the heksejagten on him. As a powerful reminder of meeting people with respect.'

the Stories of Fredriksson came when #the meto-wave was at its highest. Following the split kulturchef, Åsa Linderborg, received word from sources at the Stockholm city theatre, which gave a negative image of the otherwise acclaimed theatre director. And then rolled the case.

and wrote a lot about, that the media and the insanity #meto-focused feminists drive Fredriksson in death.

There are many emotions at play in the debate. Looking dispassionately at it, may the lesson be that journalists and editors should always be in a special emergency, when a wave as the #meto hit us.

When in a very short time arises a kind of new, global truth, it can be difficult to keep a cool head. I may not know about the mistakes that are committed in Aftonbladet, is directly linked with #the meto-wave. But I know from own experience how fierce the flow of undocumented stories was in the first time, and that the media should take special care to keep the balance.

#the meto-movement has been and is our way of dealing with each other, it is just as important to beware of the journalistic pitfalls.

In his comment after the press council ruling over the articles tells the editor-in-chief Lena K Samuelsson, that after her accession in 2018 has introduced a new leadership, created a new position as kvalitetsredaktør and strengthened the management of publishing and ethical issues. She would as the new editor-in-chief in any case have introduced these new measures. She writes that she feels safe, by the way, Aftonbladet are working on today. She can however not promise, that her media never comes to mistakes.

But as she writes, we must do our best and make sure to discuss what we do and what we publish.

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