Theater of Cruelty

OrienteringVeterans support Damm

Both Sigurd Evensmo's son Ivar Evensmo, formerly Orienteringeditor Kjell Cordtsen, Jon Olav Egeland and Ingolf Håkon Teigene believe Damm should take over Ny Tid.


- New Time is the symbolic legacy silver. It is a proud journalistic tradition that changes owner here, says Ivar Evensmo.

He is the son of Orienterings first editor Sigurd Evensmo (1912-1978), and believes a sale to the publisher Damm & Søn AS can continue the legacy in a good way.

- I believe that Damm has honest intentions and wants to bring forward New Age and Orienterings proud tradition of sharp pens, addressing taboo topics in a non-sectarian spirit and engaging in bold journalism, he says.

It can lift Ny Tid, according to the editor's son, who does not believe that Damm will use the newspaper as cosmetics.

- The desire for takeover is probably rather based on genuine respect. They want to bring the newspaper into a new era, so to speak. I also feel that the fear of interference in the editorial work on the part of the owner is unjustified. It would be such a politically incorrect act that it is unrealistic to imagine it. Damm is probably also aware that many will follow very well, and that they will also therefore be far away from interference in the newspaper's editorial line, he says.

Evensmo also emphasizes the importance of the newspaper's employees believing in the new owners' good intentions.

- My feeling is that it is not just about securing your own workplace, but that you also believe in the project. I feel the opposition to the sale is based on some nostalgic way of thinking, he says.

Merging unlucky

Evensmo sees the thoughts that have been aired about a merger of Ny Tid and Klassekampen as unfortunate.

- I like Klassekampen very much, but I think that Ny Tid may drown in a merger and that the diversity on the left is better served by Ny Tid living on in another form. Ny Tid has a better chance of being an independent voice with Damm as owners than in a collaboration with Klassekampen, he says, and continues.

- It is the journalistic message that will live on, and Ny Tid has experienced ups and downs before. What is important is to take the best with you, and that you remain true to the ideals. I think you can do that with the new owners.

No other navigable way

The newspaper's long-time employee Jon Olav Egeland has a background from Orientering. He believes Ny Tid must have owners who respect editorial independence, an editorial board with strong integrity and – most importantly – an editorial concept that attracts readers and gives the newspaper a solid financial platform.

- You have to keep that in mind when the decision is made, he says.

New Time is currently money's. In the current situation and for the future, it is necessary to find a solution. The proposal that has come to the table is from Damm.

- I understand the critics' views, but I do not see that they have shown any other viable path for the future. They are obliged to come up with this before their alternative can be taken seriously, says Egeland.

Ingolf H. Teigene worked in Orientering and New Time for nearly twelve years. He also shares the board's and the club's views on the offer from Damm.

- My instinct after these years is that those who are closest to the company – ie the employees, the editor and the board – know best how the newspaper can be secured and developed. Only exceptionally was there any point in listening to current and former leaders in the party, he says.

Death Line

Merging Ny Tid and Klassekampen does not appear to be a favorable alternative either, according to Teigene.

- It would be a death line for New Time. The best one could hope for is to become an underuse or voucher. In the worst case, New Time is swallowed up. As long as this is the case, you can bite into the slightly sour apple and receive the publishing capital from Damm.

Kjell Cordtsen was a longtime employee in Orientering and editor from 1965 until the newspaper joined Ny Tid in 1975. Alongside Sigurd Evensmo and Finn Gustavsen, he was one of the most important people in the circle around Orientering. Today he sees few problems with the proposal that the publisher Damm & Søn AS takes over Ny Tid.

- I never think Ny Tid would continue the journalistic and literary traditions from Orientering. So I have no strong feelings for what is happening now. But overall I can say that it shows how unsuitable political parties are as newspaper owners. One of the things I most strongly blame for myself is that, just over a year before the political decision to quit Orientering agreed that SF should take over the majority of shares, he says.

Today, Cordtsen believes it was in principle wrong and contributed to a headless liquidation. It can't be done again, but:

- If Damm gives guarantees that Ny Tid's values ​​will be anchored in an independent radical tradition, I see few problems with a secession from SV, Cordtsen concludes.

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