Yesterday was a very eventful media day in my part of the world (so eventful I'm still recovering, hence my cramped blogging style).
We woke up to news that Mecom had acquired Dagbladet, the Norwegian equivalent of The Mirror. It was rumoured Mecom-boss David Montgomery had ordered the struggling paper to introduce page three girls and replaced its staunch feminist editor with the editor of gossip rag Se og Hör, but Mecom refused to comment the news stating that the information was price sensitive. Needless to say, employees were up in arms.
Meanwhile, Trond Giske, Norway's culture minister who've kept threatening Montgomery with non-threats ever since he sat foot in this country, announced he was running for Archbishop. Norway's defense minister on the other hand, unveiled a new law proposal that would see all women who are still single and childless after turning 30 serve a year in the army. And a science mag even found a bunch of aliens somewhere in outer space.
Yes, it was April Fool's day, but also a busy news day. Among the serious news: the Norwegian equivalent of the House of Lords (Odelstinget) vetoed Giske's famed law on editorial freedom, meaning that Norway will soon (could be as early as 1 July) get a law that will protect editors against political and commercial pressures from their owners (at least on paper, some doubt how effective the law will be in reality). More importantly perhaps, the country was on the brink of a national labour strike (avoided in the last hour in the wee hours today).
I must admit I was quite grateful for that compromise as it allowed me a few hours more sleep, as was probably those editors who'd wowed to hand out the papers themselves today if the paper boys were on strike, but, as always, the question of who foots the bill is an interesting one. In this case I wonder if it won't be taxpayers and mortgage-holders, but hey, I don't blog about the economy, and that's good (much too depressing, besides I need some sleep now to improve my blogging form for tomorrow).
Oh, and the story on Mecom and Dagbladet was written by Martin H. Jensen whom I worked for at Propaganda last year, and who is joining us at Journalisten.no in a few weeks.