Dagens Nyheter (DN) Sweden’s biggest daily newspaper, reported yesterday that the Swedish government have produced two publications on the role of Public Service broadcasting in the future. That’s all fine, but what shocked me, and others before me, was a quote from the chairman of one of the groups.

Bengt K Å Johansson, socialdemocrat and former Member of Parliament, said that people’s use of an increasing number of media sources is a problem:

– It is a problem since we need a common ground in order to be a nation, Johansson said to DN.

Although I can understand what he mean; sure a people with homogenous views are more likely to reach consensus, and thus be more likely to bond. But, I also think his views are those of a dying generation. The nation state of the future will not be what it was 30 years ago.

One of the greatest revolutions spawned by the Internet (and other new digital media) it gives whoever’s connected to it a multitude of views and opinions to read. I’d say that on just about any subject there’s at least a handful of pages of interest, regardless of how small and seemingly insignificant the subject at hand.

When it comes to news reporting, the plethora of information is perhaps even more important. I would, like many others, like to claim that the idea of any objective truth is just plain silly. No one news organization, neither private nor public, can provide the absolute truth. The last ones to seriously consider that was a few decades when a certain state published the aptly named daily Pravda.

Much more interesting are theories on how multi-perspectivism can give a reader so many versions of the truth that he or she can make a somewhat more nuanced assessment of a particular event. (Some even go even further and say that the real revolution comes when those perspective start to talk with one another – in other words: blogs.)

How anyone can say, in public nonetheless, that people’s more extensive use of media is inherently a bad thing is completely beyond me. It is a good thing that we do not have to rely on just a few sources. It is a good thing that the nation is evolving into something else than a homogenous nation state.

I can’t even begin to understand how someone with such apparent lack of vision was put in charge of heading the government’s research. (Well, actually I think I got atleast a clue…)