Swedish website Europa-Nytt in a laconic statement (SW) informs its 20000 readers that it is closing down. This site with daily EU-news has rapidly developed into the best source for Swedish language news about Europe. All articles have been categorized so that it has been very easy to check up on what has been happening within a special policy area. In addition, Chief Editor Ylva Nilsson has written longer analytical pieces from time to time , often spiced up with a pinch of sardonic humor – a rare thing in the political discourse.
To publish and manage such an ambitious site is a full time job. After an attempt, apparently unsuccessful, to finance the site through subscriptions it is now being closed down. We have written earlier (SW) about the deplorable state of EU coverage in Swedish mainstream media. There is a certain number of Euroblogs, several of them well worth reading, but most of them written from various political points-of-view. Europaportalen is good but remains a forum for debate and discussion rather than for factual information. The disappearance of Europa-Nytt leaves a huge gap in the Swedish EU coverage.
We see a problem of a democratic deficit here. To leave the EU coverage to commercialized mass media (reporting whatever sells, preferably negative things or scandals) or to representatives of political parties or organizations is not only dangerous but will invariably lead to a fatigue and alienation of the general public. The disappearance of Europa-Nytt must unfortunately also be seen in such a perspective. It would be, however, unrealistic, not to say unfair, to expect bloggers or journalists to remedy this in a broad and systematic way, solely driven by idealistic motives. But who would be prepared shoulder the financial responsibility?