SKUP is a Norwegian foundation for a critical and investigative press, formally founded in Bergen in 1991. One of their missions is to arrange a yearly conference dedicated to explorative journalism. This year features a very special invited guest: the IDF.
Here is an excerpt from this years conference call (unauthorized translation):
We hereby invite you to a sharp debate on Norwegian media’s covering of the Mid East conflict. Avital Leibovich is the leader of IDF spokesman’s office, (foreign press branch m.mcg) and is merciless in her characteristic of Norwegian press.
– We are prepared for a strong reaction on the presence of the IDF, and this is one of the goals of this seminar. SKUP shall also provoke. Few conflicts have received as much attention from the Norwegian press as this conflict, and in relation to this it would be interesting to hear why Leibovitz thinks Norwegian journalists are among the least balanced on a world basis, says SKUP-leader Heidi Molstad Andresen.
The Lt. Colonel is IDF’s top spokesperson to the international press corps and thinks the Norwegian press is the worst kid in the classroom when it comes to a balanced covering of Israel and the ME conflict. She is especially critical of the NRK covering.
Excellent news and kudos to SKUP for at least wanting to bite the bullet.
Lets hope the debate will shed light on the unrepresentative political cluttering around the extreme left parties, or why prestigious editors such as Peter Raaum (in fairness, he quit his job as culture and debate editor at Dagbladet in January 2010, and is now working for Strategisk Kommunikasjon), went on record in 2009 with the following statement in a NRK interview regarding biased covering of the Gaza conflict (unauthorized translation):
I have never meant that the newspaper as a medium should be neutral to the effect that all parts in a conflict shall be represented in a particular case. All news papers have an ideological base and must therefore also take a stance. This will inevitably influence the covering.
If SKUP really wants to push the buttons, it should also have a closer look at how NRK frequently gives center left politicians a free pass to political campaigning without allowing the same to politicians from the opposing camp.
A recent example is the NRK Sånn er Livet who gave a 25 minute exclusive to former punker and current mayor candidate for the Labor party in Bergen, Marte Mjøs Persen, who until 2007 was member and city council representative for extreme left Red Electoral Alliance.
I would certainly like to know how my tax money is being spent on biased and unrepresentative covering also in domestic affairs.
Nevertheless, a full round of applause to SKUP for inviting the IDF spokesperson, may it be a truly groundbreaking and thoroughly politically incorrect event! We will tune in to your channel on April 1!
Prof. M. McGonagall