July 6, 2018

The Invisible Neighbour: 50 Years of Estonia in the Swedish Media

Postimees/Scanpix
Estonia in the summer of 1994. One of the biggest news stories involving Estonia was undoubtedly the sinking of the cruise ferry Estonia that year.
Estonia in the summer of 1994. One of the biggest news stories involving Estonia was undoubtedly the sinking of the cruise ferry Estonia that year.

Sweden continues to treat Estonia as a stranger

What kind of geocultural mental image did the Swedish media create of Estonia in the past and what is the situation today? Does the Baltic Sea unite us or is it still a boundary that separates East from West? Is Estonia still seen as “poor, violent and uncivilised” or has the media coverage changed in recent years? How does the tense relationship with Russia influence Estonia’s reputation in Sweden? This article will endeavour to answer these questions.

Occupied Estonia in Self-censored and Pro-Soviet Swedish Media

Once World War II was over and people had got used to the influx of wartime refugees, there was a noticeable drop in media coverage of Estonia and Estonians. The borders between East and West were securely closed, and in order to enter the Soviet Union Swedish journalists had to run the gauntlet of the USSR’s foreign ministry and security organisations. Journalists were allowed to visit Estonia only if they were guaranteed to provide a positive account, otherwise the borders remained closed to them for good, and the meetings they attended and places they saw were selected accordingly.

Long-time journalists Erik Goland and Göran Byttner were among the first to make a professional trip to the Baltic states in 1966. This resulted in a radio series called Baltics 1966, which was completely devoid of criticism. The programme described conditions in occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with outrageous naïveté. The refugee community was shocked by the reporters’ comments on how people in the occupied Baltic states did not even seem to miss the freedom of speech they had been denied, not to mention the quote used as the title of the programme on Estonia (“Life in Estonia has never been better …”) and a number of other statements that violated the rules of ethical journalism.1

Per Olov Enquist’s popular award-winning 1968 documentary novel The Legionnaires, a journalistic depiction of the controversial extradition of Baltic refugees in January 1946 and their later life in the Soviet Union, was written in the same vein. The novel was very well received and translated into many languages, even though it triggered a wave of articles and even books by historians and those involved with the aim of correcting Enquist’s pro-Soviet and at times entirely incorrect interpretation of history.2

Andres Küng’s Criticism of the Baltic States and Subsequent Travel Ban

“The indifference Swedish people show towards the fate of the Baltic states is most noteworthy, considering the fact that the people in question are their neighbours with whom they have a long-standing, intimate relationship,” remarks the Swedish journalist and media figure Andres Küng, who was born to Estonian refugee parents, in his book Saatusi ja Saavutusi (Fates and Accomplishments).3 The year was 1973 and the border between Estonia and Sweden had already been relaxed. As a journalist, Küng managed to visit occupied Estonia in 1970 and publish his account as a book entitled Estland: en studie i imperialism (Estonia: A Study of Imperialism). The book’s sharp tone towards and criticism of the activities of the occupying power meant that Küng was banned from entering the Soviet Union for years.

Even though the USSR’s border remained closed to Küng, he continued writing about the Baltic states. He covered many topics—from history and education to religion. His articles (some of which were later published in collections in both Swedish and Estonian) and books were constantly enlightening works to introduce the conditions in Estonia and in the Baltic states in general. In 1989, he once again analysed the coverage of Estonian news in the Swedish media.4 Why did the journalism community still predominantly remain silent? According to Küng, the reason lay in Sweden’s guilty conscience over the extradition of Baltic refugees and acknowledging the occupation of Estonia, but also in journalists’ lack of knowledge about the Baltic states.

Only a few months later, the famous Monday meetings became press conferences where Swedish journalists met Baltic politicians. Küng’s 1989 ideas about open media cooperation between the countries, including, for instance, joint television programmes with Estonia, were not well received. However, a number of journalists who had contacts in Estonia became interested in reporting news from there.5

Depiction of the First Two Decades of Re-independent Estonia: Banal Orientalism

The situation changed considerably when journalists were once again allowed into Estonia after the fall of the Iron Curtain and locals no longer had to choose their words with care. What kind of image did Western journalists paint?

More than a decade ago, Kristel Vaino, a Master’s student of Media and Communication at the University of Tartu, studied the portrayal of Estonia in Swedish newspapers, focusing her research on the years 1995–7 and 2002–3.6 Building on the research of her supervisor Peeter Vihalemm, she explained Sweden’s continuing indifference towards Estonia by “social distance”. According to Ülo Ignats, this social distance began to reduce at the height of the Baltic states’ struggle for freedom and the Monday Movement that spread all over Sweden in 1990–1 but increased again once the borders opened up.7

“Every now and then we welcome journalists who do not know much about Estonia but have certain ideas about more or less everything. It is clear that they come to Estonia in order to find imagery to support the stories in their head, not to investigate what is happening here,” says Vaino in her research. She goes on to point out that experienced Swedish journalists are not the only ones to travel to Estonia with closed minds: young journalism students highlight the same established stereotypical treatments characteristic of the Swedish media—discrimination of the Russian minority and social difficulties in the context of orphanages and criminal activity.

According to Vaino, “Swedish news outlets seem to have an established model for describing former Soviet countries. In describing them, journalists focus on nostalgia for the bygone era, bad service, high cultural intelligence and low prices, making an occasional reference to the historical background.”8

Jan Ekecrantz (1940–2007), a long-time professor of media and communication studies at Stockholm University, dubbed the Swedish media’s treatment of Estonia “banal orientalism”. Distinct recurring themes could already be detected in articles from the 1920s and the application of colonialist patterns of thought with regard to Estonia can be detected up to the very end of the 20th century.9 As a researcher, Ekecrantz was interested in global power relationships and their constant (re-)enforcement through the media and communication. It is, therefore, not surprising that the people of Estonia are unable to recognise their country or themselves in most articles written by Swedish journalists, which they find strange and even artificial.

1995–2003: Estonia’s Number One Fan: Dagens Nyheter

In her 2004 research, which studied several thousand articles, Vaino highlights Dagens Nyheter as the newspaper that has published the most articles on Estonia. In 1995–7 and 2002–3, this liberal daily published an average of 40–55 articles about Estonia each year. The conservative and slightly more right-wing Svenska Dagbladet follows, with 30–40 articles a year.

Dagens Nyheter seems to have the most favourable attitude towards Estonia,” states Vaino. “This newspaper published the highest number of longer articles on Estonia and covered the most topics. Additionally, Dagens Nyheter employs journalists who regularly publish stories on Estonia and, thanks to its correspondents, it is likely to paint the most balanced picture of Estonia for its readers.”10

Among others, Vaino mentions Tiina Meri, Tiia Derblom, Mert Kubu, Elisabeth Crona, Reet Waikla, Peeter Luksepp and Staffan Skott as journalists who have written the most about Estonia. However, this does not mean that these journalists—who mostly have common Estonian names—have always shown the country in a positive light. For instance, Estonia’s reputation suffered considerable damage due to Mert Kubu’s predominantly negative and controversial writing.

The image that was created of Estonia in the 1990s has proved difficult to change and, compared to other Scandinavian countries, the Swedish media have been the most negative towards Estonia. How did neighbouring Sweden view Estonia, which had only recently been released from occupation?

In 1995–7, newspapers often wrote about daily life, political events, cooperation and helping Estonia. Some room was reserved for introducing Estonian nature and environment; there was a lot of talk about environmental problems and the damage left behind by the Soviet military, but also the catastrophic effects of industry on the environment. At the same time, the newspapers also published articles on Estonia’s beautiful nature and its numerous forests and marshes. Significant attention was given to the situation of the Russian-speaking population, especially their language and citizenship problems.

Cooperation and assistance remained important topics in 2002–3. Politics received considerably less attention than before, and the media did not even bother to mention President Arnold Rüütel’s visit to Sweden. Particular attention was given to crime and the media often published pieces on offences committed by Estonian criminals in Sweden, but also prostitution and problems connected to prisoners, murders, the mafia and similar issues. The proportion of reports concerning economic relations grew considerably and Estonians’ achievements—including Olympic medals and Estonia hosting the Eurovision Song Contest—were also addressed.

Estonia was often portrayed as a typical Eastern European country while Sweden took the role of a good Samaritan, experienced and wise, that already knew what Estonia should do to rid itself of its problems. Many articles did not give Estonians themselves the chance to get a word in—coverage of the Andrus Veerpalu and Kristina Šmigun doping scandals serve as good examples of this. Polarisations such as “us and them” and “East against West” were almost unnoticeable in articles from 1995–7, but by 2002–3, 12% of articles contained such distinctions. The image of so-called “dangerous” Estonia occurred in only 8% of articles published in the first study period, but this figure had increased to 26% by the second. The prevalence of the image of Estonia as a successful country suffered a significant decline: this was included in 36% of articles in the 1990s and only 14% of the later ones.

Information War with Russia and Changes in the Swedish Media Landscape

In the last few years, there have been significant shifts in the media landscape. The advance of social and digital media has forced traditional outlets to seek new opportunities.11 An increasingly aggressive Russia is interested in Estonia as well as in Sweden—both are targets for Russia’s information warfare. This, in turn, means great changes in the media world and the work of journalists.

The number of people who subscribe to daily print newspapers has fallen by 50% since 2000, while readership of their online versions has increased, but the role of traditional media is changing.12 Statistics indicate a clear generation gap. Compared to print media, digital media—which is usually consumed via smartphones—is nowadays more popular among people under 44 years of age, but a change in attitude can even be detected among older age groups. The use of both television and radio as primary sources of news remains stable. In 2017, 81% of residents of Sweden aged 9 to 79 watched television every day, 62% listened to the radio, 56% read newspapers, 65% followed social media and 51% followed traditional online media.

In 2018, the so-called Swedish trust barometer13 indicated that people have a high level of confidence in Swedish Radio and national television (SVT). Sixty-five percent of respondents reported rather high or high confidence in Swedish Radio, and 58% thought the same about SVT. Dagens Nyheter was seen as the most trustworthy newspaper (45%; in 2008, it was a whopping 58%), followed by local papers, which were trusted by 43% of respondents, Svenska Dagbladet (40%), the tabloid Aftonbladet (14%) and, finally, Expressen (10%).

The confidence Swedes have in Wikipedia and Google is relatively high and comparable to the major dailies. At the same time, the level of confidence has diminished in the last few years (41% in 2018 against 54% in 2012). Facebook is of entirely different stock, but trust in it has fallen, too, and now barely reaches 10% (16% in 2011).

Changes in the media and the field of journalism, especially the spread of fake news and Russian propaganda, have been much analysed in relation to Russia’s information war on Europe. In 2017, Martin Kragh, a Swedish expert on Russia, published a thorough overview of Russia’s influence operations in Sweden.14 In his article, he drew attention to Aftonbladet’s cultural section, which was being used as a direct instrument of Russian propaganda. Kragh’s article triggered vicious personal attacks in both social and traditional media. At the same time, he was not the first to call attention to Aftonbladet’s activities. The authors of “Fog of Falsehood: Russian Strategy of Deception and the Conflict in Ukraine”, an investigation of Russian influence operations published by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, levelled similar criticism.15 Aside from Aftonbladet, the study also names both Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet as uncritical disseminators of Russian propaganda.

In the context of recent foreign-policy and domestic social changes, the work of Swedish journalists has become more difficult due to the increasing number of direct attacks and threats against journalists. For instance, internet trolls and print media have repeatedly targeted the renowned journalist Patrik Oksanen, who writes about defence policy and is openly critical of Putin’s Russia.16 It is worth mentioning that Oksanen has occasionally written constructive articles on matters related to Estonia.

Estonia’s reputation in Sweden may be unexpectedly and negatively influenced by individuals connected to the Kremlin, such as the right-wing radical and former asylum-seeker Egor Putilov, who writes opinion pieces under several aliases. Last year, the story of his shadowy background caused a major public scandal in Sweden17 and spurred several agencies into action. It should be pointed out that, despite several journalists’ investigative articles on Putilov’s activities, he continues to write for the so-called Swedish alternative media, attacking those very same journalists, among other things.

The Invisible, but Frightening, Neighbour in 2017

On 20 March 2018, the Stockholm Estonian House hosted a media seminar under the aegis of the Association of Estonians in Sweden, for which I analysed the image of Estonia in Swedish newspapers in 2017 and the general coverage of the centenary of the Republic of Estonia. I studied the headlines, topics, photos and messages in articles published by Dagens Nyheter (DN) and Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) that included the keyword “Estonia”. The centenary was significant news that could be reported in a positive light. I was interested in whether and how the Swedish media used this opportunity to acknowledge its neighbouring country. The following is a summary of my presentation.

Estonia in 2017 According to Dagens Nyheter

Headlines mentioned Estonia on seven occasions in relation to the Russian threat and most of the articles focused on the topics of security, war and threats. The articles discussed the security crisis in the Baltic Sea region, NATO’s activities, Russia’s reactions or steps taken in relation to Estonia, its arming against attack and cooperation with the US.

An article about Ilon Wikland was an exception, and DN did not file this under Estonia, even though the story focused on a children’s opera based on the story of Wikland’s escape. Among other topics, this fascinating article mentions Estonia’s historical tragedy that caused Ilon Wikland to flee to Sweden as a child.

The cultural section mentioned Estonia on only one occasion. This short article by Henning Eklund drew DN readers’ attention to a Facebook comment by the spokesperson of the Russian foreign ministry, Maria Zakharova, in which she criticised a film based on the history of the Forest Brothers resistance group in the Baltic states. The article did not include any comments from the film’s authors or historians—the only cited source was Zakharova’s social media account, in which she claimed that the Baltic Forest Brothers were Nazis. This is a textbook example of Russian propaganda.

Economic affairs were brought up twice. The first story was about a new wave of false invoices threatening Swedish entrepreneurs, and the other focused on Estonians’ multi-million-euro claim against Swedbank. The headlines suggested that these activities were targeted against Swedish businesses, even though Estonia was the injured party in the second story.

The sports section covered freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru’s success. Once again, the headline included the military expression “tar med storm”, which is synonymous with “fullständigt besegra”, meaning “to defeat completely”. One possible translation of the headline is “15-year-old Took Estonia by Storm”. News of the harassment scandal involving former prime minister Taavi Rõivas made it to Sweden, too, where it fit into the general journalistic context along with numerous articles about the #MeToo movement.

The interview with Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid published on 25 January merits special attention—especially its headlines and photographic material. In order to produce this sizable article, DN journalists Ingmar Nevéus (photos) and Magnus Hallgren (text) visited the president’s office in Kadriorg. The front page featured a large photo of the Estonian president with the headline “Men Who Make President’s Life Difficult” (Männen som gör livet surt för presidenten), with smaller photos of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin underneath. This was followed by a quote from the president—“Russia is the aggressive party”—and Michael Winiarski’s expert commentary: “Small Eastern European countries risk becoming spare change in Trump’s deal”.

The story continues on page eight with a large-print headline “Estonian President: Trump Assured NATO Remains Important Partner”. The next page features a photo of a somewhat resigned-looking Kaljulaid being served coffee and a headline from the newspaper’s foreign commentator Winiarski: “Tallinn Cannot Rely on US Support”. Kaljulaid’s comment, given underneath in small print, says that Russia must change itself in order to facilitate a more meaningful dialogue and stresses again that Russia is the aggressive party.

DN treats Estonia as a peaceful but slightly annoying small military neighbour that is threatened by Russia, a weak woman bullied by grown men who can easily be defeated by a 15-year-old girl. DN has put in real effort and used its own journalists rather than running stories by others only in the case of five articles, of which the interview with the Estonian president and Mikael Holmström’s interview with the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Riho Terras, are the most noteworthy. Defence policy and the security of the Baltic Sea region, in which Estonia plays a key role, can be regarded as the only topics that are well covered. The only positive story from the field of culture is an interview with Ilon Wikland. Throughout the year, several Estonians were given the chance to have their say, but most of the articles published were based on interviews conducted by other media outlets.

The fact that Sweden’s largest daily newspaper does not have correspondents in Estonia or journalists to regularly report from Estonia is a significant shortcoming. There has been at least one case where a DN journalist gave readers false information originating from Russia, damaging the credibility of DN and the image of Estonia and failing to provide a truthful account of the history of the Baltic states.

Svenska Dagbladet’s View of Estonia in 2017

The organisation No to NATO holds a manifestation against the upcoming Swedish military drill Aurora 17 at Sergel’s square in Stockholm, Sweden September 9, 2017. TT/Scanpix

Svenska Dagbladet is the fourth-largest newspaper in Sweden. Estonia was mentioned in 24 articles in 2017, which was less than in the 1990s. The main keywords attached to articles on Estonia were: Russia (11 times), threat, war, security, armament, NATO and hackers. At the same time, the tone of the headlines is neutral, and Estonia is shown as strong and successful despite the difficulties arising from the security and political situation.

Estonia received positive attention during its presidency of the Council of the European Union—headlines described Estonia as the most successful cyber nation in Europe that “puts Europe in order”, and Tallinn was said to “take charge of Europe”. The grand old man of the Swedish Defence Forces, Karlis Neretnieks, wrote an article on the security of the Baltic Sea region entitled “Baltic States are also Sweden’s Concern”.

In an in-depth interview published on 26 January, Estonian foreign minister Sven Mikser “warns against new attacks from Russian hackers”. Mikser is also quoted in an editorial of 4 February as saying, “every war will have a cyber dimension in the future”. Estonia had another neutral mention in relation to the security of Finland. The newspaper also published a report that featured interviews with the commander of the Swedish Defence Forces and his Estonian colleague, Riho Terras. An interview with Finnish president Sauli Niinistö on 3 June was given the title “Attack on Estonia Unlikely”.

The business news section reported the multi-million-euro claim against Swedbank mentioned earlier. In December, the newspaper published an article about a company that was going to leave Estonia. Occasionally, the newspaper carried sports news with neutral headlines. Estonia was also mentioned, along with other countries, in an article on the European Health Interview Survey and a discussion about refugees. The literary section published an interview with Lena Männik Styren, whose family had fled to Sweden when she was a child.

Articles in SvD are characterised by their persistently calm tone. Estonia is depicted as being the equal of other countries. Estonians are interviewed individually or as a group and their opinion is valued. They are also depicted as successful in certain fields. The majority of articles focus on military and security matters and Estonia is often mentioned along with Russia, as well as with Finland. Accompanying photos also indicate a calculated and relatively neutral attitude towards Estonia.

Estonia’s Centenary in the Swedish Media

While the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat published a special issue, “Helsingi Sõnumid”, in celebration of Estonia’s 100th anniversary, the Swedish media’s reaction to this great event was lukewarm, with the exception of some local papers and Swedish Radio, especially the classical music station P2.

A week before the event, P2 broadcast a concert dedicated to Estonia’s centenary. Swedish Radio commissioned Maria Kõrvits to write a special piece for this occasion called Through, which was first performed during the show. The hosts alternated in speaking Estonian and Swedish, and the programme was broadcast live in 56 countries. Estonian music also remained the focus of the classical radio station over the following days.

On 20 February, Västerbottens-Kuriren’s journalist Mats Olofsson wrote an in-depth article about Estonia’s centenary, which included a positive comment on the Swedish Estonians’ festival “Estival” in Stockholm City Hall. The article was illustrated with a picture of the Estonian tricolour and the title “A new addition to the Nordic family?” underneath. On the same day, the regional tabloid Borås Tidning carried an article by Enel Melberg, “Estonia Sings Own Songs to Celebrate Its Centenary”, in which the renowned Swedish-Estonian writer and translator provided an in-depth summary of Estonia’s history, latest films and literature. A couple of days later, three more local papers published interviews with Swedish-Estonian Mihkel Nõmm.

The print version of DN did not mention Estonia’s anniversary in its 24 February issue. Its online portal carried a brief story from the Finnish media with a photo of the celebrations in Estonia. SvD ran a short editorial by Per Gudmunson titled “Long Road to Freedom”. This was illustrated by a clipping of a 100-year-old SvD story reporting that an Estonian delegation had arrived in Sweden and that everything was ready for the birth of a new republic.

The morning show on Swedish Radio station P1 broadcast a more substantial report on Estonia—their Baltics correspondent Erika Gabrielson spent seven minutes introducing Estonia and interviewing people, and later also presented a two-and-a-half-minute story for P1’s news bulletin. Both showed Estonia as a rapidly developing country and an equal partner. As an illustration, Swedish Radio’s website featured a photo depicting random tourists in the Old Town of Tallinn with a Russian flag in the foreground and a small Swedish flag in the background. A 15-second clip of Estonia’s centenary celebrations was shown on the evening television news.

Conclusion

This article covers the period from the 1960s to the present day, but it is far from exhaustive. Contemporary Swedish journalists’ depiction of Estonia is based on their personal knowledge and prejudices, formed over decades. Those now in their 30s and 40s went to school at a time when Estonian history was slowly making its way back onto the curriculum, but their parents’ textbooks made no mention of it. One can occasionally still find physical maps with a white spot where Estonia should be.

The depiction of Estonia in 20th-century Swedish media has been described as “banal orientalism”, which is, above all, based on the traditional colonialist treatment of countries that are smaller and slightly vulnerable due to their geopolitical location. During the occupation, the media engaged in self-censorship and could turn a blind eye to the best practices of journalism, producing reports that shocked people familiar with the country’s history and circumstances. The 1990s were characterised by a strong focus on the problems of the Russian community and environmental issues. However, the media showed solidarity with and considerable interest in Estonia’s development and a generation of Swedish journalists who write about Estonia emerged. The introduction of visa-free travel shifted the focus to poverty and crime, and a lot of attention was devoted to Estonian criminals and prostitutes who moved to Sweden and thus became major influencers of public opinion on Estonia.

2017 was characterised by a focus on the security of the Baltic Sea region and military matters, in which Estonia has an important role; however, it was often mentioned in the same sentence as Russia and related threats. At the same time, even the most trusted media outlets would uncritically publish Russian propaganda and false information, thus damaging Estonia’s image.

Even though Sweden ranks high in the press freedom index and Swedish journalism is considered professional, the media are generally unaware of what goes on in their neighbouring country and even the largest media outlets have no correspondents in Estonia. Stories that are about or linked to Estonia do not generally spark interest in journalists or make the headlines. This results in very few Swedes being able to name the capital of their invisible and remote neighbour, even though it is the closest to Stockholm.

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1 Andres Küng, Estland vakna! Göteborg, 1989, p. 283. Küng also points to Ingmar Lindmaker of Svenska Dagbladet, Staffan Teste from Dagens Nyheter, Jan Behre of Göteborgs-Posten and many other journalists as positive examples.

2 I was most surprised by the embellished description of a Siberian camp, which sympathises with the guards rather than the deportees; not to mention the naïveté with which he interviewed silenced and terrified Soviet citizens.

3 Andres Küng, Saatusi ja saavutusi: Baltikum tänapäeval. Lund: Eesti Kirjanike Kooperatiiv, 1973. A Swedish translation Vad händer i Baltikum? was published the same year.

4 Andres Küng, “Baltikum i svensk nyhetsförmedling”, in the collection Estland vakna!

5 Estonian-born Swedish journalists deserve their own detailed chapter, thanks to the work they have done since the 1940s to enlighten the Swedish public of Estonia’s situation. This article only mentions a few.

6 Kristel Vaino, “Eesti pilt Rootsi ajalehtedes 1995–1997 ja 2002–2003”. Master’s thesis, University of Tartu Faculty of Social Sciences and Education, 2004.

7 It is worth mentioning that the media       were provided with a considerable number of press releases from Estonia and Estonian refugees in those years. See, for example, the Estonian Freedom Fighters’ Help Centre, which mainly translated and forwarded press releases. The brutal murder of two leading Swedish trade unionists in Tallinn in January 1991 and the sinking of the cruise ferry Estonia in the early hours of 28 September 1994, which resulted in the loss of 852 lives, had a considerable negative effect. The coverage of these two tragic events and the effect on Estonia’s image in Sweden require further and more detailed analysis.

8 Vaino, op. cit., p. 36.

9 Vaino, op. cit.

10 Vaino, op. cit., p. 60.

11 In addition to annual reports on the Swedish media, Nordicom’s publications on Nordic media trends provide a good overview of changes in the Nordic media landscape. nordicom.gu.se.

12 The digital platform of Dagens Nyheter, which has traditionally been one of the most popular newspapers, ranks as low as third in popularity. Aftonbladet, whose weekly readership exceeds 50% of the population, comes first, followed by Expressen; Dagens Nyheter’s readership is only half that of Aftonbladet. However, the DN management board have made considerable efforts in recent years to benefit from this trend.

13 Förtroendebarometer measures trust in institutions, political parties, the mass media and companies. Surveys have been conducted since 1997.

14 More information can be found at www.martinkragh.com (the author’s website, from which the full text of the article can be downloaded as a PDF).

15 The full text of the study can be found on the institute’s website, www.fiia.fi/sv/publikation/fog-of-falsehood.

16 E.g. Folk och Försvar’s seminar on trolls and alternative facts, the participants in which included Patrik Oksanen. See www.svt.se/nyheter/svtforum/motesplats-samhallssak….

17 See the article on Egor Putilov’s identities by Josefine Sköld and Mattias Carlssoni in Dagens Nyheter, 18 February 2018, at www.dn.se/nyheter/har-ar-egor-putilovs-nya-identit…, and Putilov’s response at samnytt.se/ett-nytt-lagvattenmarke-i-dns-agendajou….

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