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Gretne old men


Talking about prostitution and privacy at the same time is obviously no easy task. It's so easy to get hung up on sex. Willy Pedersen, Martin Gaarder, Camilla Jordheim Larsen and Knut Olav Åmås do just that. The debate pages in last week's edition of Ny Tid were almost exclusively devoted to criticism of my comment from the week before. Unfortunately, none of the posts took up the core of my criticism.

I agree with Knut Olav Åmås in that the sex workers have the right to come up with their version of their own situation, and I have great sympathy for the Contemporary's attempt to nuance the debate by devoting three long articles to the topic in the latest issue of the journal. These articles are exciting voices. But the stories would have been at least as good without the leading tone of the researchers, big pictures of prostitutes Gina and detailed descriptions of her clients. And especially if Martin Gaarder had used a paragraph to ponder how his role as a white and rich male friend affects Gina's interview.

The editor is practicing on being polemical, and I'm happy to make that available. But when Åmås puts as a condition for the debate in Dagsnytt Eten, that he should bring article author Gaarder with him to tell how well he knows Gina, it is a clear sign that he does not understand the criticism. It is not the editor's job to convey everything such an interview object and article author wants, but to make independent, editorial decisions on what is good press ethics.

I mean yet that the portrait of Gina should not have been published. Gaarder describes in the article in Samtiden how she is afraid that those who have brought her to Norway may harm her family in Nigeria. When Gina posed for the photo, she thought she was on her way to cover with an organization for trafficking victims. Now she's back on the street. The article tells in detail how Gina has fled from the Norwegian police. Has Åmås properly explained to her what Schengen means? Has he even thought about this? When the editor answers the questions by accusing Ny Tid of being as bad as Samtiden, because we illustrated my comment with a section of the portrait with writing above, the disclaimer indicates an unconscious attitude.

That Åmås maintains that the anonymisation of customers is total is proof of how little he understands of anonymisation. But he will not listen to counter-arguments. The intellectual editor strictly insisted that all three responses to my article must be published both in print and on our website. On the contemporary website is my original and the three equivalents, but none of the articles from Ny Tid and the Journalist, where Kokkvold in the Press Professional Committee (PFU) supports my criticism of the anonymisation of whore customers. PFU has received a copy of an anonymous inquiry to Samtiden, in connection with the description of an African expert who is stated in the article with the number of children: «You may have destroyed families with what you wrote. How can you sleep at night? According to Samtiden, the expert belongs to a well-known Norwegian humanitarian organization in Oslo. Now the explanation from the author of the article is that this applies to several hundred men, the explanation falls on its own unreasonableness. I'm just getting sad. But the grumpy old men probably sleep well on.

Martine Aurdal is responsible for the debate in Ny Tid

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