Subscription 790/year or 190/quarter

Independence is the goal

Club leader Jógvan Gardar explains why all employees in Ny Tid are now asking for support to let Damm take over the weekly newspaper, so that jobs can be secured and new forces added.


New Time needs a solid saline injection. The newspaper has needed that for a long time. When the publisher NW Damm & Søn AS came on the scene with a concrete offer, where they offered the editors the freedom to develop today's newspaper into what we most of all want it to be – an important newspaper that creates debate in Norwegian society with a solid point of view in its political tradition – well then we could not say anything but thank you. Our goal is to create an independent newspaper.

We want independence to be able to make a better newspaper, contribute to debate and not least to preserve the newspaper's 53 year history

New Time and its predecessor Orientering throughout its history has been an important part of the debate on the Norwegian left, and in the Norwegian debate in general. With a watchful eye, we have analyzed, covered and revealed. Keeping the newspaper alive has been demanding, and its significance for the debate on the left has varied. Several times we have been near the cliff. And now we're back. The newspaper is fighting for its survival and its employees for its job. Today, the situation is a tougher market, fewer subscribers and a staff that has to fight every week to get a 20-24 page newspaper.

We who work in the newspaper are proud to help pass on the baton that our predecessors in the newspaper gave us. For us working in the newspaper it is important that it continues to come out. The discussion over the past couple of weeks about whether the board has done a good enough job in securing the newspaper's future is a discussion that can stifle what may appear to be the last chance for the newspaper.

We are tired of all the talk, and need action. Therefore, we have also accepted the offer from NW Damm & Søn AS with an open mind. We all have our starting points that allow us to like or dislike different players in the market. Some dislike the publisher Damm, and some dislike Klassekampen (KK).

For us in the newspaper, the heavy publisher has been debating for a long time. We have been aware of the discussions between the board and what was published on 3 January as Damm.

We have also been informed about all the rounds with Klassekampen. Over the last fifteen years, there have been a number of informal contacts between Ny Tid and KK – and there have been formal meetings. When the Ny Tid board 10-12 years ago, the Pax boss Bjørn Smith Simonsen at the helm concluded that "the time was not ripe" for a closer collaboration between the two newspapers, the answer was the same from the management of KK when the chairman of the board in Ny Tid in May 2005 was in meetings with the KK management.

A united club in Ny Tid has always supported the board's work to ensure the newspaper's survival and finances. The employees have given the board the necessary support to try to find partners. The employees have been concerned that the board should find a solution where we could first secure the newspaper, then further develop it. We have not required a specific partner, but a solid and reliable partner. The various attempts that have been on the field have, until the publisher NW Damm og Søn AS came into the picture, not succeeded. Other alternatives have stalled due to both finances and disagreement about how one

cooperation / acquisition should be carried out.

When we were informed this autumn that there was a major player who was interested in investing in Ny Tid, we signaled that we supported the board's job of getting this possible agreement in place. We made sure that it was a serious player, and that this player would give Ny Tid the opportunity to develop further – based on the newspaper's over fifty years of history.

The situation in Ny Tid has been difficult for many years. The heavy economy has made it impossible to invest in innovation – we have had to fight to survive every single day. The editorial staff has been understaffed for several years and it is not easy to make a good newspaper, with the knife to the throat. The situation today is that we are facing an economic situation that makes this a matter of life or death for New Time, both as a project and as our workplace.

- We have received guarantees and believe in Damm's guarantees that the newspaper will continue in its radical tradition. Damm wants cultural capital, not pure cash For us in the editorial office, it has also been an important goal to continue to be able to continue as an independent editorial office. We have no desire today to be an attachment in the Saturday edition of Klassekampen.

And to quote SV's first leader, Berit Ås, when the club talked to her at the weekend: It's better with two newspapers than with one on the left.

This is a unique opportunity to further develop the newspaper. We get to hire more people and make a better newspaper. This has been a process that the club has always been in, and has always supported strongly. Our hope is that the ownership is now clarified, and we can move forward with securing Ny Tid the place we believe it should have. Orientering left clear traces on its way – now we will continue this journey.

For us, this is a discussion about whether in the future we should have a New Time coming on the streets, or a newspaper that old SVs can sit and reminisce about and that they can read about in the encyclopedia.

This has been a process that the club has always been in, and has always supported strongly.

You may also like