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Several factual errors


Neither facts nor accounts of assessments have made an impression on Martine Aurdal in the case we have discussed – Contemporary three articles on prostitution.

Aurdal now teaches (23.9.) Ny Tid's readers that "it is not the editor's task to convey everything as an interview subject and an article writer want, but to make independent, editorial decisions about what constitutes good press ethics".

I share this view of the editing role after eighteen years as editor of other people's texts. The Gina interview and conversation with Phillip has been through editing in three to four rounds each. The ethical considerations are devoted a lot of time.

In his post, Aurdal introduces factual errors to strengthen his case:

1) It is not true that I "maintain that the anonymisation of customers is total". I have argued that it is "sufficient that they cannot be identified" (New Time 16.9.). It has been a point to illustrate that it is the most resourceful and knowledgeable people with otherwise completely ordinary lives who buy services from African sex workers in Oslo. (Maybe Ny Tid could shed light on, for example, Norwegian aid workers' relationships with prostitutes in Africa? And their relationship with African prostitutes in Oslo? Maybe it hurts too much in Ny Tid's core market?)

2) I have not committed a "disclaimer" based on an "unconscious attitude" or made any "accusations that New Time is as bad as the present". On the other hand, I have reminded Ny Tid that the newspaper with knowledge and will itself has printed non-anonymous photos of Gina and descriptions of customers. What is the reason for this inconsistent gap between Aurdal's opinions in the case, and the act of printing the same thing that Aurdal criticizes so strongly? Was the discussion more important than the case itself anyway?

It is also striking that Aurdal fails to comment that Klassekampen (10.9.) Has used four pages on the Gina interview, with the same pictures and the same degree of anonymisation – even after they had read Aurdal's first comment – and that NRK's ​​Dagsnytt Atten quoted them the same anonymizations of customers.

As editor, I fully stand for the decisions I have made. Other media's treatment of the same case shows that a number of editors also actually has made the independent, ethical assessment that Aurdal calls for. Or does she mean that everyone has acted completely "unconsciously"? And that Liv Jessen, who knows Oslo's prostitution environments better than anyone else, also has no idea what she is talking about?

3) Speaking of ethics: has not refrained from publishing criticism of Samtiden. We did this on the first working day after Ny Tid had come out.

4) Gina is not "back on the street" in Madrid.

It is worrying that Ny Tid has been quoting from an anonymous e-mail for two weeks. It can come from anyone with any motive, and contains gross accusations, without any factual basis. And Ny Tid's editor-in-chief has not apologized for Aurdal's claim that I have put Gina in "danger of death".

Knut Olav Åmås is the editor of Samtiden.

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