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Highlights from the Scandinavian media year 2006

If the year behind us is anything to go by, the Scandinavian media market will be an interesting one to watch also in the year to come. 2006 was so packed with media wars, controversies, upheaval and startling revelations that it almost beggared belief.

On a serious note, it was the year of Mohammed and Montgomery, a year the regions' media map was redrawn, and the year of the great freesheet invasion. Among the lighter, but still thought-provoking, stories that caught my attention: All is fair in love and newspaper war, Watch out for the virtual freemasons and Move to scrap TV-license after ministers fail to pay up.

As the year progressed, so did these stories, and some I simply never found the time to blog, so most of these blog posts are new, though I sometimes link back to old stuff to explain. Two previously blogged stories that were symptomatic of the year: 'hack fired for accessing the governing party's intranet blogs his way back' and 'tabloid contests that a blogger brought down Sweden's trade minister: it had the scoop a day before it published it'

Evidence suggest sex, crime and violence, celebrity and scandal generate the biggest hits online (via Martin Stabe), and Norwegian media magazine Kampanje's top 20 list for 2006 seems to confirm this, but for this blog it's only partially true. Yes, my top story of the year was probably the media company that graded prostitutes, it travelled all over the media world and blogosphere (read the real story behind how the story surfaced here), and generated big hits, especially from Washington Post and this blog I can't even figure out the letters in, but stories on the Mecom-Orkla debacle, especially this and this, and the Norwegian journalist who faked interviews with the rich and the famous also generated a lot of traffic (the latter even earned me a rather dubious thank you note from Microsoft for blogging it in a language its spin maestros could read).

On a more philosophical note, after a year abuzz with so much change an upheaval I guess it's hard not to notice how different the world looks, but the following quote from Norwegian journalist Paul Leveraas is still worth pondering for most news professionals, including a self-empoyed one such as myself: "We stand in the stream of events, while busy chasing deadlines the world changes and we are too busy to notice the change." (I must have copied this down in my early blogging days, cause I don't have a direct url for it).


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