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Dangerous tabloid distortion

Ny Tid's debate leader, Martine Aurdal, accuses me of putting the Nigerian sex worker Gina (27) in danger of death.


Comment by Martin Gaarder.

Ny Tid's debate leader, Martine Aurdal, accuses me of putting the Nigerian sex worker Gina (27) in danger of death. "Dangerous tabloid" and "for Gina potentially life-threatening" Aurdal writes about the way I as a journalist, and Knut Olav Åmås as editor, let Gina tell her story in the latest issue of Samtiden.

In particular, it is the image of Gina's face and an allegedly defective anonymization of two of her customers, which forms the basis for Aurdal's very gross indictment. An indictment based on errors and distorted facts, which Aurdal and / or her editor must lament and withdraw.

Among other things, Aurdal invents an international prostitution mafia, which does not exist in Gina's life, and does not exist in my article, and writes: “They brought her to Spain last, and can find her in Madrid's horrors too. With Contemporary in one hand as they tie the other. "

Who are they"? And who is that tabloid?

I will address the security and privacy issues that Martine Aurdal completely misses, both in her commentary article (Ny Tid 08.09.05) and in a debate in Dagsnytt atten (NRK P2 09.09.05).

Not in the grip of the mafia

Gina knows how media attention works, including through university studies in marketing. She gave her full consent to both text and image printing. For several months she had to think about the decision. Editor Åmås and I have been in regular contact with her throughout the process up to publication. How Gina herself looks at Martine Aurdal's attack is at the end of this post.

So there is no prostitution mafia around Gina, and I have made an important point out of this article. Gina went to Spain and on to Norway on her own. But she was helped with documents by a sister-in-law who was already in the business and who subsequently appointed herself to her pimp.

Gina is not in Madrid's horrors now, as Aurdal claims. That Gina, because of the exposure in the Contemporary article, should be in danger of being sought out by her pimp-sister-in-law (Aurdal i Dagsnytt eighteen), is a completely misunderstood problem. Gina never escaped from her sister-in-law, Martine Aurdal! She fled from Norwegian police, after being expelled from the country.

Again a serious misreading of Gina's story, a story Aurdal stands in the way of, by reducing Gina to a press ethical problem. Others reduce Nigerian sex workers to a renovation problem. Gina may not be Gina in the Norwegian public.

Refers to direct errors

It was just the reluctance to open up to the reality of Nigerian girls I wanted to revel in, by telling a face-to-face story. Therefore, portrait photography of Gina also plays a significant role. For Gina herself, it becomes a way to rise above shame and condemnation. For the purposes of the report, it is important that readers in this way look the Nigerian sex worker in the eyes. That someone could only trace Gina in the million city of Madrid, which has one of Europe's largest African populations, using this image is unthinkable. The picture does not appear with her real name. Gina is the name she uses in the job, and no place is registered.

Aurdal also makes another serious mistake when she writes that "Under the portrait we find names, place of residence, place of work, nationality and age". That's not right, especially when it comes to housing. It says "Address: Secret" under the portrait. The name used is still only Gina. The fact that the place of work is stated as "Skippergata, Oslo" probably does not come as a bomb on anyone.

Martine Aurdal directly references errors and turns this personal information into dangerous to Gina. I'm sure Martine Aurdal understood this was a storytelling effort, not an attempt to make a list of real personalities.

Several hundred men

So to the two mentioned customers, who Martine Aurdal believes are identified in my article. One I refer to as "a guy in the construction industry from Hønefoss" and the other as "a two-child father and an African expert in a well-known, humanitarian organization in Norway".

With as many well-known humanitarian organizations as we have in Norway, there may be hundreds of men who fit the description "twin father and African expert". The fact that the father of a child can recognize himself in the article is, of course, a human cost that I am aware of and can feel uncomfortable about. But then I have landed on the grounds that the public interest and the authenticity of the report weigh more than a resourceful person's baseless concern for being discovered. The man is also an example of a widespread phenomenon, namely aid people who buy sex from prostitutes from the third world.

Then to the mentioned guy in the construction industry from Hønefoss, whom Gina managed to earn 150.000 kroner in half a year, using some professional trick and trickery. I think he is alone among the readers to know that it is him about the article. There must be several hundred men, if not more than a thousand, who are associated with the construction industry at Hønefoss?

If he were to be in harness for having been deceived, he would not find Gina unless Gina would. And in the strange game between a sugar daddy and a prostitute, the lie can often be seen by the man from the very beginning. It's part of the game.

Not a child

Martine Aurdal empowers Gina with her fierce concern for Gina's safety. But that's the editorial assessment of the time Martine Aurdal will take. Again, Gina is used and not seen.

I call Gina in Madrid and tell that Martine Aurdal thinks she is now in danger of death, because of Åmås and me. Gina asks me to pass this answer on to Martine Aurdal: "Ha, ha. I expected the kind of reactions from such teams. Understand that I am able to take care of myself. I'm not a kid. Understand, too, that I would let myself be portrayed as I told my story. Also understand that it is important for me to be able to tell what Norway looked like from my standpoint when I worked there. ”

Martin Gaarder is a freelance journalist.

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