By Lena Johansson
Association for Forestry and Agicultural Journalists (FSLJ)
In the currently strained financial situation for media, very few Swedish newspapers and radio stations have reporters who are specialised in agriculture or forestry. Yet, both are sectors that are important for the country’s national economy.
”Very few Swedish journalists have a connection to agriculture nowadays, says Linda Grimstedt, president of the Swedish guild of agriculture journalists, FSLJ. We wanted to offer all kind of journalists, both guild members and others, an opportunity to broaden their knowledge about the subject, and so far it has been very popular.”
The education program started a year ago with a seminar about the European Union’s common agriculture policy, CAP. The Main speaker during the day was Roger Waite, former EU reporter and spokesperson for EU’s agriculture commissioner. Roger Waite has worked with agriculture policy, in different positions, for more than 20 years and talked about both the history and the future of the CAP. About 20 journalists, both from specialised agriculture press and daily media, learned a lot about agriculture politics. They also listened to a farmer who told them about how he benefits from the EU support system and a regional civil servant who spoked about how the authorities work with consultations for and controls of the EU subsidies.