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Ny Tid complained in fact to PFU

MEDIA / John Y. Jones and Arne Ruth, both on Ny Tid's editorial board, have on behalf of Ny Tid complained in fact to the Press Professional Committee in connection with the essay on the events in New York on September 11, 2001, which we printed last autumn.


Ny Tid's complaint is not about what is the right or wrong description of the events in New York on September 11, 2001, but about what is legitimate for Ny Tid to reproduce on the one hand, and what may not be acceptable treatment of Ny Time of an institution like In fact, on the other hand. We believe that Ny Tid has exercised good journalistic craftsmanship based on trustworthy source research and has not deserved the characteristics that Faktisk has presented.

What was actually stated in the article? Unfortunately, this is a very relevant question to ask, because the accusations against Ny Tid and the article author Ted Walter are not necessarily about what is in the article. The title is in quotation marks and refers only to a quotation by an individual in the article. Ny Tid has not claimed that the assumption of explosions is obvious. In fact, even reproduced the title WITHOUT the quotes, as if the newspaper claimed this. That's dishonest.

Walter, on the other hand, does not conceal that he is convinced that the towers were subject to controlled demolition. That this requires explosives and deployment, goes without saying. But at no point does Walter or our editor Truls Lie write that the US authorities are behind the attack.

Being accurate in details such as quotes, measurements or quantified facts can be fact checked. But fact-checking is less suitable for assessing complex issues that require studies, experiments, comprehensive reviews, ideological or value-based considerations or trials where many considerations must be brought together before a judgment can be passed declaring something – as if it could follow logically – for « In fact, completely untrue ", as has been done here. We believe that In fact we have not had the expertise or put in the time or resources to carry out an acceptable fact-checking of Ny Tids article, and that one must be especially careful when fact-checking hypotheses presented in an article such as the one we printed.

Ny Tid and Walter's article were the subject of consideration by Faktisk's editorial staff on the same day it was published. In fact, already announced the same evening. Such a time perspective must only be characterized as an irresponsible treatment of an article on a very serious and comprehensive topic. Especially when the result was a vile attack on a serious and dedicated author and his publicist. Here are some of the reviews Actually Gives:

Characteristics such as "uncritical", "conspiracy theories", "not objective or independent", "actionist", "rogue websites", and "pretending to be scientific" occur in the very conclusion of Actual, as easy-going, discrediting characteristics without any form for serious evidence or confident reasoning. And in the text, other techniques are used to discredit the article and its sources.

After a few hours of work, in other words, actually trying to discredit New Age article. The method is to look for views that support the official reports and then claim that these are more reliable than Ny Tid's, and which contradict and therefore legitimize a discredit of Ny Tid.

This type of characteristic from a body owned by the heaviest media players in Norway can be very destructive, even when it is unreasonable. It is difficult to ignore the fact that many of the reactions that followed in the Norwegian press were encouraged by this way of describing Ny Tid. Ny Tid has noticed this in many ways: outright expulsion from Klassekampen, publishing problems, advertiser failure and more.

We believe that in fact, here has contributed in a devastating manner to what International Fact Checking Networks (IFCN) guidelines call "unfunded or partial fact checking that will increase media and expert distrust and poison public understanding."

When Faktisk writes that "Ny Tid uncritically conveys a conspiracy theory" and is based on "rogue" academics, this must be written solely to discredit. In fact, there is no mention of any factual argument that these academics address. In fact, it is based instead on claims from a popular science, commercial journal (Popular Mechanics) that is by no means peer-reviewed. If one had taken it easy, for example, one could find that Lynn Margulis, who is a member of the American Academy of Sciences, an honorary doctor at 15 universities and in 1999 awarded the US "National Medal of Science" by President Bill Clinton, has views in support of New Age article.

The quickly published, discrediting comment from Faktisk most likely contributed to Klassekampen terminating its cooperation agreement with Ny Tid. This had major financial consequences for Ny Tid. In fact, this has reduced the possibility of an open discussion on this serious topic and has been instrumental in putting pressure on Ny Tid and on Klassekampen in order to "prevent an open debate and free dissemination of information". To slander a counterparty in this way is not to "protect freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the principle of openness".

In sum, we believe that Faktisk with its violations of the Vær-varsom poster has helped to discredit the important function fact-checking must have for good media players, and contributed to unacceptable pressure with a devastating effect on Ny Tid. And we have therefore asked the Press' professional committee to help rectify this.

We resist and debate and we welcome opposition, but then the resistance and debate must come and go on a factual basis. It has not happened here, and it should in fact take inward.

The press's professional committee meets to discuss the matter today at 09.30, and the entire meeting is transmitted directly via Journalisten.no.

Regardless of the outcome, we believe the press's truthfulness is so important to discuss, that we organize a debate at the Artists' House 11 September. In fact, of course, they are invited, and so are all of you others.

Update: In fact, none of the points were fielded. Only one of the points was discussed, as the PFU considered the remaining points to be outside their area of ​​expertise. In any case, we are pleased that PFU was instrumental in opening this important debate. Well met for debate 11 September. See our event page on Facebook for more info.

The complaint was written by John Y. Jones and Arne Ruth, who both sit on Ny Tid's editorial board.

John Y. Jones has a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Oslo with an emphasis on American cultural studies and Jewish-American literature. He has 30 years of experience in Norwegian development assistance with information and evaluation work. In recent years, he has been associated with the Swedish cultural center Voksenåsen with the Dag Hammarskjöld program and, among other things, brought a number of international whistleblowers such as David Ellsberg, Jesselyn Radack and Thomas Drake to Norway. Jones writes regularly in Ny Tid in the field of "global justice" and often about Korean issues after many stays in the country over the past 10 years.

Arne Ruth is a nestor in the Swedish press. Throughout her working life, Ruth has worked in the press, including as a journalist at Swedish Radio and as a culture / editor-in-chief at Expressen and Dagens Nyheter. He came to Sweden with the White buses during the last weeks of the war. He is involved in the rights of refugees and immigrants – not least in Sweden. In addition to being a leader in Swedish PEN, Ruth is also the head of the Stig Dagermann Company, which annually awards the Stig Dagermann Prize in advance of the Nobel Prize in literature.

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