Ørjasæter takes Norwegian press to task on lackadaisical attitudes to ‘aid’ workers

lifted from nettavisen.no (google translate)


The journalist is very good, Gilbert unprepared


Full chaos after a heated interview with Mads Gilbert.
Saturday was a doctor and Palestine campaigner Mads Gilbert (57) grilled by the Danish television program Deadline for DR2.

“Is Gilbert doctor or politician?”
The program reached a high temperature, and the tone was very angry when Gilbert was confronted with his political points of view on the issue of Israel-Palestine conflict.
“He says Israel is deliberately attacking women and children and that Israel commits genocide. Is Mads Gilbert a doctor or a politician? “Asked the Danish journalist Martin Krasnik (43).

Gilbert has over the last three years been working as a doctor at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. In the three weeks after Israel offensive against Gaza in the summer, he has spoken out frequently in the international media about the bloody consequences for Palestinian civilians.

Krasnik robustly confronts Gilbert demands evidence for such claims and a clarification of his opinions about the festering conflict.

– Equally critical of all
The interview has been eagerly discussed in the social media afterwards.

Pundit and associate professor at the Oslo School of Management, Elin Ørjasæter, asks on Facebook Tuesday morning:

“Did you see the DR (Danish” NRK “) 17 min critical element of Mads Gilbert? A big contrast between Norwegian and Danish journalists … see the whole video, it becomes more and more intense for each passing minute … »

She continues:

“The Danish journalist has been equally critical of the Israeli ambassador, the anti-immigration activist  Lars Hedegaard, the Danish defense (in Afghanistan), in short, he is ruthless towards all. Recommend to see other clips by him online. ”

– Very good

– What do you think about Kraśnik’s journalistic method, Ørjasæter?

– I think it’s very good. The good thing about Krasnik is that he is consistently and thoroughly prepared. He runs the same style to all: He is ruthless and very knowledgeable, she tells nettavisen.

Ørjasæter emphasizes that his style is demanding:

– This requires to be critical in all directions, even to those you agree with – either that or an editorial policy that provides a variety of reporters with different perspectives, she explains.

– Sermon like style
Ørjasæter believe Norwegian press has something to learn:

– What struck me is the reverence Norwegian media shows many interviewees when it comes to international emergencies. There is something worship-like over Norwegian journalists when they interview aid workers, they are not critical enough, she says.

Ørjasæter says that telethons by both NRK and TV2 suffer from this.

– What we have seen during telethons  in both channels, is that anyone who has been abroad and has participated in an aid campaign, gets a free pass to present their opinion – without being met with critical questions. What we do know is that many NGOs have a clear political agenda, something we must not forget. Gilbert is a well known political activist, she says.

“You are being abused, Gilbert …»
Krasnik refers to the international media as the Washington Post and the Frankfurter Allgemeine, whose journalists have been at the Shifa Hospital, writes that the hospital where Mads Gilbert is working  is used as the headquarters of Hamas leadership

– You have been abused by a terrorist organization, says the journalist.

Gilbert journalist asks about what evidence he has for this.

Furthermore Krasnik asks Gilbert if he perceives Hamas as a terrorist organization. The answer from Gilbert is no.

Krasnik ask repeatedly for the documentation to Gilbert’s claim that Israel deliberately targets civilians women and children.

– Gilbert is liberatingly unprofessional
– How do you think Gilbert fares in the interview?

– Gilbert shows he is totally unprepared for critical questions, he reacts with outright fury. It is allowed, but I do not think he comes particularly good out of it. He is liberatingly unprofessional, one gets sympathy for the guy, but when he accuses the journalist for not having done his homework, he is talking to the wrong person, says Ørjasæter – adding that:

– Gilbert responds in the manner any person would do, but shows that he is not accustomed to critical questions, she says.

– Unfair
Ørjasæter believes Norwegian press suffers from the sin of omission

– The majority of Norwegian journalists belong to the Left in Norwegian politics, but I think they should take the profession more seriously and be more critical of their own allies. I am content there are exceptions, but I cannot recall any now. I find it surprising that they fail to provide a more balanced picture of what they are communicating, she said.

– Krasnik is criticized for being a Jew and cover the story. Many believe he should cover the Middle East. What do you think about that?

– I think it is totally unfair: it is as out of place as if one were to deny Norwegian Muslim journalists tocover the Middle East,Ørjasæter says.

– Ethnic and religious background – no barrier
Thousands of people have backed a campaign to block Krasnik and other unnamed journalists of Jewish origin, from covering the Gaza conflict.

Krasnik boss, DR’s news editor Ulrik Haagerup, responds to this:

– We have determined that the ethnic and religious background does not disqualify anyone. Krasnik is a very sharp interviewer who behaves the same to everyone he invites the studio, says Haagerup on the DR website