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Historical opportunity

Ny Tid has now been given a unique opportunity to realize its legacy Orienterings days, as long as the board's and New Time employees' wishes for new ownership are followed up.


"A free weekly magazine that can convey the most important truthful information to the widest possible layer of the people."

This is how the adopted definition sounded Orientering at the founding meeting on January 28, 1953. Pretty accurate on the day 53 years after Ny Tids expires Orientering was founded, the weekly newspaper now faces a historic opportunity. The board of Ny Tid has on Monday convened an extraordinary general meeting, which was announced in Ny Tid and Dag og Tid last week. The background is that a unanimous board on January 3 decided to hand over the newspaper to the publisher NW Damm & Søn.

The central board of SV, which is the largest single shareholder, decided on Monday this week to support the Ny Tid board's proposal for a capital reduction and a private placement to Damm. It is important that the newspaper's radical tradition is also continued with Damm as owner, that the editorial poster is complied with as in all newspapers, that jobs are secured, and that the editorial staff is given resources to invest in further developing the newspaper. In this way, the best possible way will be to ensure that Ny Tid remains a free weekly newspaper that can convey important information to a larger audience than today.

And something like this is needed in Norway in 2006, perhaps as much as in 1953 – when Sigurd Evensmo started as the first editor.

It is natural to consider the proposed transfer as the best solution to safeguard the newspaper's tradition. Damm is a cultural publishing company that last year ensured the relatively narrow literary journal Vagant's continued existence and was behind the start of the journal Kraftsentrum. Damm is owned by the Danish foundation Egmont Foundation. The profits from operations therefore go back to investing in new initiatives and for social purposes. Last year, the fund distributed over NOK 30 million for social, cultural and scientific purposes.

Some react with skepticism that owners with money show interest in Ny Tid. But the media situation in Norway has become completely different in recent years. The traditionally value-conservative Morgenbladet has since 2003 been owned by Dagsavisen, Fritt Ord and Pax director Bjørn Smith-Simonsen, which means that Morgenbladet is injected millions of kroner annually. This has undeniably made the situation far more difficult for Ny Tid, which has been on the brink of collapse for several years. Vulnerable niche newspapers need owners who have the power to act to both preserve the tradition and give the editorial staff the opportunity to renew themselves.

From New Year, Norway Post doubled its postal expenses for weekly newspapers. This means an increase in expenses for Ny Tid of more than NOK 500.000 annually. Admittedly, an unresolved state compensation is eventually announced, but jobs in this newspaper are now acutely threatened as long as other solutions are not found quickly.

Some critics have in the last week gone out to the press and thought that Ny Tid should rather be an appendix to Klassekampen. But it is this proposed solution that ensures independence, internal integrity and credibility externally in the Norwegian public for Ny Tid. This is how the legacy can return from Orienterings days be secured in the best possible way.

Ny Tid's board has for many years tried to get a collaboration with other parties, but without success. It is therefore a historic opportunity that now opens up for shareholders on Monday. It is to be hoped that as many people as possible follow the call from Ny Tid's board, Ny Tid's employees and SV's central board – and thus vote in favor of the proposed change of ownership.


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