For having increased transparency as an integral part of their core reporting, especially creating more transparency around the topic of Freedom of Press with the reporting called “Pressfrihetens Vita Fläckar”
Who pays to lobby and influence Swedish democracy? Do people and organisations have different influence on policymaking? Westander is the only PR-bureau in Sweden who performs self-regulation and has an “openness”-demand.¹ They also openly publish all their client assignments to show who pay them to influence the democratic system, public opinion and political representatives.² They also lobby to change the law to increase transparency among PR and lobbying companies.³
Bahnhof has been at the frontier of working for transparency in connection to their business operations. In 2014 they exposed the attempts by the Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) to secretly read and analyze ISP customer information by recording them during meetings and releasing the recordings in public. They have also worked hard against the IPRED-law to expose and have the law removed as Sweden is now one of the few countries that is collecting and saving personal citizen data in Europe, against the European Commission’s recommendations.
In spring this year of 2016 the Freedom of Expression Group (Swedish Journalist Union), Publicistklubben and Stockholm University gave their 1st year students at the Journalistprogram a massive task to test the level of transparency and openness at a large number of public authorities and if they lived up to serve the public fully according to the Swedish constitutional laws with the Freedom of Press and Freedom of Information. This initiative is a project that should be a standardized and coordinated practiced within Sweden between every news and civil society organization which cares about a healthy democracy!
The projects aim was to create product specifications for the municipal sector in Sweden (and in second hand the world) in order to enable them in creating open data in the same way. This is nessecary in order for municipal open data to be usable. The process has been pretty open but most importantly there has been a desire to involve civil servants as well as creators of it-systems for municipalities. This makes it more likely that the specification will be implemented in the it-systems. The project have also sought comments from re-users on the specifications in order to ensure that the output will be usable.
More information on the project can be found here:
One output is guidelines for how this kind of initatives can be run in the future (can be found on the results page via the link). There is also a meeting scheduled in order to take the work beyond the project phase and getting more specifications created.
One of the published specifications:
Open discussions on Facebook regarding the specifications:
The project leads have been Björn Hagström and Peter Mankenskiöld and the contact within Sambruk that owns the project has been Claes-Olof Olsson.