Camilla Lindberg: You need to be right – and earn the trust
Over at Same Same But Different there’s an interesting guest post by politician Camilla Lindberg, the only member of one of the government parties in Sweden who voted against the new and controversial wiretapping law, commonly known as the FRA law.
The debate about the law was a real breakthrough for the Swedish blogosphere (which to a large extent celebrated Lindberg as a hero for voting against her own party), but in her guest post Camilla Lindberg says this does not mean that bloggers can always rely on being taken more seriously from now on.
Lindberg writes (my translation):
The blogosphere won the FRA debate because it was right. It was an issue that was pretty much dead everywhere else. It touched a nerve, it made people react. And – although not each individual blogger could get all the technical facts of a very complex issue right – it was possible to discuss it on a fundamental level.
Lindberg expresses criticism against the mass-emailing staged by evening paper Expressen, which urged people to copy a text about the FRA law and send it to all the members of the Swedish Riksdag. She thinks this is a form of spam rather than a good way to communicate people’s opinions to decision makers. There blogs are a better option, and Lindberg stresses their role as opinion media.
She writes (again, my translation):
Blogs are first and foremost opinion based media. When competing with tv or papers that have greater resources for investigative journalism, fact checking and the like, they are underdogs, even if they can compensate for this somewhat through networking. But misconceptions and errors can still spread through blogging networks. In such cases you lose credibility.
And she concludes:
The lesson to learn is that the impact of a medium depends on trust. Trust is volatile. You have to nurture it, or you will lose your readers.
(Video clip from the demonstration outside the Riksdag, which to a great extent came to pass because of activism from bloggers)