2012 Enlightener & Deceiver Awards

The Swedish Skeptics have announced their annual awards for 2012. Both the Enlightener award and the Deceiver award are given to the editorial staff of programmes on Swedish national radio.

Medierna is a weekly media criticism show. They roast journalists in an excellently skeptical fashion and have during the year touched upon mistreatment of subjects such as climatology, alternative medicine and vaccination.

Nyhetsguiden is a daily news analysis show. In April and May they ran several anecdote-based antivaccine stories about the ongoing effort to vaccinate prepubescent girls against the cancer-causing HPV virus. This was particularly irresponsible as the Swedish public has a heightened vulnerability to antivax propaganda after the nationwide swine flu vaccination programme was found to correlate with a heightened incidence of narcolepsy. Nyhetsguiden also flirted with climate denialism in November. This kind of reporting is alas what often happens when the science beat is left to general news reporters.

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"Medierna" will have its work cut out for it for the next millennium, then.
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On the subject of prizes, I just found out a former member of ABBA -Björn Ulvaeus- has been an active member of the atheist organization Humanisterna since 2005 . He received the Ingemar Hedenius prize for "formulating a concise criticism of religion and the need for a secular humanistic foundation for the development of society". Cool.
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If Nyhetsguiden does not check its sources, maybe we can use it to spread "good" misinformation: "Medicine" made fron rhinoceros horns will give you cancer! Looters of viking-age treasure in Gotland frequently get killed by banjo-playing locals!

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 04 Jan 2013 #permalink