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Make the Press Freedom day a Freedom of Speech day

Press Freedom Day: a few reflections

In Norway, it was the country's relationship to its powerful neighbour Russia that was on the agenda for the World Press Freedom Day. Foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre and former finance minister Jan Pettersen had been duly invited to discuss this at The Editor Association's spring conference.

I guess I should have live blogged it, but sleep-deprived as I was (I'd been up blogging since 5am the previous day, then working as a journalist in the evening, up in the wee hours to get the article off to deadline, then straight on to more live blogging), had almost lost my will to live after hearing IP's David Dadge grim report on the state of press freedom globally, and failed to find any worthwhile things to report from the debate.

I mean, when you ask a foreign minister if his government is cozying up too much to a powerful neighbour, for fear of destroying business opportunities for partially state-owned companies like Statoil and Hydro, he's not going to say yes, is he?

So he duly denied this accusation and said that Norway's relationship with Russia was as full of dilemmas as the Press Freedom Day (?). Pettersen said his government probably had too romantic a view on Russia when they were in power, and Ann-Margit Austenå, former leader of Norway's journalist union, asked how anyone possible could have a romantic relationship to Russia. That was that. I would much rather have been at this debate....

Here's a pic from the debate, just about
as blurry as my mind felt at the time.
Foreign minister is second from the right.
Not looking too enthusiastic is he?


Hi there,

I attended a lunch held in London on World Press Day for two prominent Russian human rights defenders/journalists. If you would like to read my blog entry please click on the URL. Alternatively for interesting articles and lively debate concerning current affairs check out the openDemocracy website.


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