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This is what we want with New Time

Our editors have figured out how to proceed Orientering- and the Sigurd Evensmo tradition in the best possible way. Now we need your support on Tuesday.


On Tuesday 24 January at 16 pm, the future of Ny Tids will be decided at a new extraordinary general meeting, after last week's general meeting was canceled due to insufficient notice. If enough shareholders support the editorial board, the board and SV's central board in that the cultural publisher NW Damm & Søn should take over the ownership of the weekly newspaper, we will have a unique opportunity to realize the editorial board's cultural radical wishes.

We can make a big investment in Ny Tid, so that we reach out to people with our opinions and our journalism. And we get a unique opportunity to highlight the proud tradition New Time and Orientering stand in. We will introduce a fixed slot of classics from Orientering, with texts by Sigurd Evensmo, Georg Johannessen and Jens Bjørneboe.

Of course, we want to continue with Dag Seierstad's column, which is celebrating 15 year by year, and we will continue to invite writers from different parts of the left. In this way we mean to be able to continue the legacy of Sigurd Evensmo, Finn Gustavsen and Kjell Cordtsen at the start of Orientering in 1953.

It is then also very fundamental that we are allowed to continue in the radical tradition we stand in. In negotiations with Ny Tid's board, Damm has easily said he is willing to sign that «Ukeavisen will continue to operate in the political and editorial tradition as Ny Tid and Orientering has been standing in ».

Cultural heritage

It is fundamental that Damm will not interfere with the editorial profile and coverage of the newspaper. The editorial poster will apply, so employees are free to say what they want. This applies regardless of whether SV or Damm is the main shareholder.

Ny Tid will also receive money to employ more permanent journalists and to buy more freelance material. In this way, we can not only secure jobs, we can also help create new ones.

We will be able to obtain administrative resources so that we can do something about the economy that we have struggled with for many years. And we want to get far better distribution so that we can reach out to people in the country.

In short, we have great opportunities to deliver something far better to subscribers and to new readers than we do today. An edition of about 4200, as it has been in recent years, should not be satisfactory for those who want the left-wing and the cultural radicals to have a greater impact in the Norwegian public.

By reaching out to more people, we can also more easily live up to the goal from the foundation Orientering January 28, 1953: "A free weekly magazine that can convey the most important truthful information to the widest possible layer of the people."

By making New Time and Orientering more well-known and influential in the Norwegian public, we live up to the proud newspaper heritage we are part of.

We believe that Ny Tid should just fight to gain influence in the Norwegian public, that it should remain a name that is respected and proud of. By becoming independent of political parties, as almost all other newspapers in the country are now, we can also rediscover the independent radical voice of Orienterings first days. It was the Socialist People's Party that ran out Orientering, not the other way around. We believe that is precisely why we are rediscovering Orienterings roots if we now get to detach ourselves from the party politics also on the owner side, as the situation was at the start.

No attachments

If we can thus also contribute to an environment where new voices are heard, as Evensmo allowed them to in their time, possibly new radical currents can also arise from our editorial offices. We need more votes in the Norwegian public, not fewer.

And this is especially important now that SV has entered into government cooperation with the Labor Party. and Sp. With the basic opposition party even in a position of power, a new era has occurred. Neither SV nor Ny Tid are, to the same extent as before, served by a formal affiliation on the part of the owner. Ny Tid will best be able to serve the interests of the left and the radicals by being independent in terms of ownership, and rather bring out radical opinions editorially. The credibility and impact of Ny Tid will increase with the proposed solution. This is something that will benefit everyone who fights for solidarity and radical values ​​on the left, since Ny Tid is thus «to be driven further in the political and editorial tradition that Ny Tid and Orientering has been standing in ».

Some people think Ny Tid should be an attachment to Klassekampen rather than being free under Damm. We do not think so. The class struggle is a sparkling daily newspaper, and it is getting better and better. But that is precisely why we also need other voices on the left, to bring out even greater breadth and diversity. We need this now more than ever.

And a weekly newspaper is in its essence something other than a daily newspaper. The class struggle and a strengthened and more independent Ny Tid can thus complement and challenge each other, as the two newspapers have already done for decades. This should continue. New Time should not be an attachment that could be in danger of going into another newspaper. New Time should continue as a free, independent and radical voice, so Orientering was founded as. A free rook in a place. The Class Struggle discussions have been going on for a long time, without a solution, as the Ny Tid board wrote in Thursday's Class Struggle.

It also serves the left best that there are more voices, more rakes. This is how we can strengthen the Norwegian public.

The last few months have been hectic, eventful and turbulent for Ny Tid.

Early this autumn, this weekly newspaper revealed that a Norwegian colonel had the overall responsibility for the UN forces in Srebrenica in 1995. And in October, we revealed that CIA planes from Guantanamo Bay had landed at Gardermoen. This was quoted in news media around the world, both CNN and Le Figaro quoted New Time, or "New Times" as we are also referred to.

Such cases have made Ny Tid more visible in the Norwegian and international public, and something that may have made Damm believe in what the editorial staff can do with increased funding.

Some have stated that Damm is a "big capitalist enterprise". Damm is owned by a foundation, the Danish Egmont Foundation, which in turn distributes part of its profits to needy children and young people, over NOK 30 million a year. The profits of the Egmont Foundation do not go to greedy shareholders, but rather are given back to new initiatives in the newsrooms.


It is not just the last year that Damm has shown that it is a cultural publisher, by securing the narrow literary magazine Vagant and starting up Kraftsentrum. Erik Solheim, current Minister for Development Aid and former leader of SV for a decade, for example, published his political autobiography Nærmere (1999) on Damm. In 2004, Damm published Clive Foss' biography Fidel Castro, and the publisher describes Cuba's leader as "one of the world's most dynamic leaders". In a few months, Damm will publish the world-famous historian Anthony Beevors' The Battle for Spain, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War. Beevor is the publisher's flagship among the 240 books on the 2006 spring list.

In short: It can be seen as completely natural that Damm also ensures the further radical existence of New Age.

This autumn, the editorial staff has developed an editorial profile where exactly Orientering- and the New Time legacy is fundamental. We want to focus even more on foreign coverage, news disclosures, debates and culture. Everything stamped with our own profile and with the desire to live up to what Evensmo and his successors have created.

We now hope that we can get as many supporters as possible ahead of Tuesday's extraordinary general meeting at 16 pm.

Dag Herbjørnsrud
Dag Herbjørnsrud
Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

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