I made it clear that I was not accusing the press of coaching. The newspaper goes beyond that brilliantly.
Saturday 16 September Kent Guest on NRK morning showI was talking with director Nils Jobe about his new film “Solis”. Just on the eve of the interview, she was asked about something completely different, namely the case of Erna Solberg and Cinder Finnis.
The presenter then asked: “Do you think the election result would have been different if everyone had known about Erna Solberg’s husband’s stock purchases before the election?”
“It’s hard for me to speculate,” I replied. “But I think it’s a sad story, which again affects confidence in our politicians. Then I also hear there’s talk that maybe this should have come out in the media before the election, in which case I think “This is a big problem, if someone was sitting on the information here and not letting it happen, considering we’re having an election. I mean that seriously. And I hope the media will follow suit as well, because that makes it even more dangerous.”
Not meant that way
This was a statement to which some members of the press reacted, not least Jared Stero and Lars Haakon Groening, the responsible editors at VG and E24 respectively.
The reason for their reaction was that they interpreted the statement as an indication that some media outlets could have deliberately withheld information until after Election Day.
This was not what was intended on my part.
In another context, there might have been room to clarify that the criticisms were directed at Finneas/Solberg and the right, not the press, but that was not the case on the eve of an in-studio show at NRK.
When Steiro and Grønning reacted via a post on E24, it became clear to me that my statement could be interpreted differently than was intended.
She then sent this clarification: “Clarification is needed after my statement on Helgemorgen on the stock issue with Erna Solberg and Sindre Finnes. It is Heuer, Erna Solberg and Sindre Finnes who could and should have shown more openness sooner. Period “My asking the press to take care of itself was an outlet for frustration about how long this had taken. It was not an attack on the press. Had there not been skilled editors, the issue would have been buried. I am well aware that it is not the place of the press to decide what information individuals should “Disclosing it. I still comment on the lack of transparency among those who were asked. Now I hope that the focus in the future will be on the issue and not on the media or other side tracks.”
Aftenposten’s claim is incorrect
Two full days after my explanation, Aftenposten published an editorial claiming that the day after Erna Solberg’s press conference she had “launched a conspiracy theory about NRK Dagsnit.”
Aftenposten’s claim is untrue, and had long been disproved when Aftenposten wrote her editorial.
It is convenient for the newspaper to quote only one sentence of clarification: “My asking the press to take care of itself was an outlet for frustration about how long this was taking.”
I specified that I was not accusing the press of covering up the case, but the newspaper skilfully crossed that point. Ironically, this could erode the trust in the media that Aftenposten claims to want to protect.
The newspaper should hold itself to higher standards than this.
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