Norwegian comments on US coverage of the Norway terror

By | August 9, 2011

Magnus Nome in Open Democracy:

While American cable news was not very good at its job, the Hall of Shame is reserved for others.  Worst of them all, former FOX employee Glenn Beck, who saw fit to compare the slaughtered youth of a democratic organisation in a free country to the compulsory, paramilitary, racist Hitlerjugend. I was horrified to learn this insane agitator has just addressed the democratic heart of Israel, Knesset. Nobody respectable should lend this man a soapbox ever again.

Journalism is not an exact science, and the flow of information in the immediate aftermath of a dramatic incident is chaotic and confused. While trying to sort false information from facts, errors will be made, and the former will be broadcast as the latter. This is what we expect and accept, as long as the uttermost effort is made to verify or falsify what is reported, if all reported information found to be false is rectified and if one mostly refrains from speculation and conjecture.  

The coverage I saw did not uphold this standard. Maybe they thought accuracy wasn’t that important: their viewers didn’t know much about this country anyway, they’d accept whatever they were told.

Norway is a multicultural society. While many rural areas are almost completely white, in my Oslo school in the 80s, there were several dozen nationalities. Half my friends were Muslims, others were Christians, atheists, agnostics. Every world faith was represented on our streets, and it worked pretty well. It still does. That is not to say there aren’t problems, issues to be discussed. But that’s not because of the Labour Party, or because of Islam. That’s because it’s reality, and reality is never obvious or streamlined.

Read in full here. H/T to Keith Hart

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