Saturday, September 29, 2007

On my Country and its Newspapers

Norway is a special country, created for those with special interests. It is not for everybody. Even Michele makes Mistakes...

However, even weirder than the country are the newspapers, espcially the internet version of them. Apart from the universal tendency to become more and more tabloid-like, Norwegian Newspapers are in th process of perfecting the art of creating headlines that are completely divorced from the contents of the articles they are meant to draw attention to. That, too, is pretty universal.

More worrying is the tendency to create headlines which have only one purpose, to attract the prurient and simple-minded, and in the process insulting individuals.

A case in point is today's (29 September 2007) treatment of the discovery that a book edited by Princess Märtha Louise contains sections which are translations from Danis-language originals, and that the translator has neither been asked for permission to reproduce, not been offered compensation for the use.

As the editor is a Princess, the newspapers have gone completely voerboard, forgetting everything they know about the publishing industry (of which, one might have presumed, they are part...?).

Instead of attacking the incompetence of the pubishing house that has managed to neglect basic business practices and common decency, the papers have focussed on the word "princess" and seen a marketing opportunity in attacking her.

I am pretty sure the Princess is able to defend herself, and that this will blow over - as things do - but the following selection of headlines show the depths to which the publications in question can plunge when they put their minds to the task:

Märtha Louise stjeler (Dagbladet) (Märtha Louise steals)

Tyv og hykler (VG)  (Thief and hypocrite)

Märtha stjal oversettelser (Aftenposten, through (Märtha Louise stole translations)

The journalists and editors of these rags are safe, or at least they believe they are, as the Princess might be reluctant to sue them (as she is surely entitled to, given the venomous and incompetent attacks on her), but the pubications as such should hang their heads in shame.

The people who create headlines are different from those who write articles. The former are anonymous, the latter are not - but one assumes they have acquiesced, or at least are aware of who it was who produced the thing. So, singled out for particular shame:

PÅL NORDSETH (Dagbladet)
VG hides behind a wire story from NTB
Aftenposten, also, is too shy to maintain its story from earlier in the day and hides behind

What a bunch of silly people...


Post a Comment

<< Home