The Political Game in Focus

In recent years, media focus has shifted from highlighting political standpoints and ideas to a stronger focus towards the political game, polls and numbers. The risk is the public will continue to lose interest in politics and a further erosion of trust in our politicians could be a possible outcome.

This article (in Swedish), featuring an interview with my former professor in political science Jesper Strömbäck, deals with the issue.


Chinese literature. Do Nobels oblige?

Chinese literature. Do Nobels oblige?

China has long fretted that it lacked a great modern literary voice with international appeal. In the decades since Mao the tendency has transmogrified into a full-blown “Nobel complex”. The quest for a Nobel Prize in Literature was made the object of official policy by the Chinese Communist Party, eager for validation of its national power and cultural clout. It has also been a heartfelt desire for those Chinese intellectuals and writers who have felt inferior in global influence and reach.


Four more years? A president who has had a patchy first term now needs to make a convincing case for a second one

In Denver four years ago, an inspiring presidential candidate announced that he would change America. Barack Obama promised to put aside partisan differences, restore hope to those without jobs, begin the process of saving the planet from global warming, and make America proud again.

Partisan gridlock is worse than ever: health-care reform, a genuinely impressive achievement, has become a prime source of rancour. Businessfolk are split over whether he dislikes capitalism or is merely indifferent to it. His global-warming efforts have evaporated. America’s standing in the Muslim world is no higher than it was under George W. Bush, Iran remains dangerous, Russia and China are still prickly despite the promised resets, and the prison in Guantánamo remains open.

However, he inherited an economy in free fall thanks to the banking crash and the fiscal profligacy that occurred under his predecessor; his stimulus measures and his saving of Detroit carmakers helped avert a second Depression; overall, he deserves decent if patchy grades on the economy.

How can Obama convince American voters to entrust him with four more years of office?


PR Agencies on Pinterest

We are seeing more and more PR agencies being active in new, and perhaps unexpected social media channels. According to the Umpf blogg, there are now an increasing number of Pins on Pinterest with PR-related stories and images, not to mention dedicated PR-related boards. The Swedish PR agency Jung Relations has its entire digital household on Pinterest, thus being one of the first not using an ‘ordinary’ web page as its home (however, with not following anyone else on Pinterest it is hard to see the sense of it at the moment). Is it the beginning of a wider trend? Could Pinterest eventually, (and with som much needed improvements and updates) become even bigger than the giant Twitter?  Some seem to foresee it:



Why Social Media Can’t Win Swing Votes

“The Internet and social media are incredibly powerful for raising money; for connecting policy positions with those who care; for whipping the base into a froth, and giving them tools — blogs, tumblrs, tweets — to spread the word. That’s important and I’m not minimizing it.

But when it comes to the mega-business of persuading people to change their minds, or re-consider a candidate or a belief system they had otherwise rejected, social media still has a lot of convincing to do.” says Adam Hanft

Is this true, or is the problem that politicians are using social media more as free advertising platforms than opportunities to genuinely connect with voters and potential voters?