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It blows cold in the open landscape

Life is is not as simple as avholdsfolket want it to”, said the author Aksel Sandemose. It applies, in particular, the privacy, and especially when it is lived close to the public floodlights. No one knows more about these risks than the journalists and politicians. It also affects the statements that now come from the new couple Frithjof Jacobsen (VG) and Jette Christensen (Parliament). Jacobsen says straight out that the relationship "is not consistent with the to be a commentator in VG." Vg's editor-in-chief Gard Steiro is almost overwhelming agree.

So far the story of the relationship completely by the book. Not least is the announcement and the consequences in accordance with the presseetikken as it is formulated in the Be Careful-the poster. The sets completely clear requirement that journalists must protect their own and the media's independence, integrity and credibility. In the poster, it is called:

"Avoid dobbeltroller, positions, assignments or bindings that can create conflicts of interest or lead to speculation about the disqualification... Display the transparency of the underlying factors that may be relevant to the public's perception of the journalistic work".

it is incompatible to be one of the country's leading commentators and have a relationship to a country's key politicians, there are few members of the media that will draw in doubt. Jacobsen comments were often linked to themes which were also handled by Christensen. She is not only a member of parliament and member of the foreign relations committee, but also sits in the central executive committee of the Labour party. The overlap was clearly evident, and is also not disputed.

Also stortingsrepresentanter there is a an ethical guide that was adopted by the presidency in 2016. Where is it called bl.a.:

"If the representative face conflicts of interest or other ethical dilemmas that may seem difficult, can a starting point be that transparency around such questions creates trust and reduces the risk of misunderstandings and speculations."

There is no doubt that Frithjof Jacobsen and Jette Christiansen follows the rules of the game. Nevertheless, there is one question that hangs in the air, and which have not been answered in any clear way: When was the relationship entered into? In this context this is not just a question of privacy. Then would not the public had nothing to with it. For Jacobsen, it's all about his integrity as a political commentator and the relationship to the editors in the VG. For Christensen about her relationship with partifellene and the party. Both parts apply to the trust.

- Store received information in the beginning of January

the interviews which is published avoid the both of you to answer specifically on this. According to Jacobsen, he realized the first around new year that he had arrived that wanted to initiate a relationship, and that it meant that he had to quit his job. Christensen says it's not easy to put the date on the feelings that develop, something most will agree. At the same time hear it with the case that They were confronted with rumors about the relationship in the spring of 2018, and that he rejected them. Vg's management settled to rest there.

VG lose one of their best and most distinctive pens which also led the newspaper's kommentaravdeling. Nevertheless, the cool chill in the comments as coming from management. Editor-in-chief Gard Steiro deny that the relationship has influenced the vg's coverage of political affairs. It he's probably right, but the reason is rather technical: the Commentators do not work in nyhetsredaksjonen, but "analyze and express their own opinions". Steiro says it is legitimate to ask whether the relationship has had an impact on Jacobsen's comments, writing: "but he can only even respond to".

So easy it is probably not. Through many years in the media, also in the Press professional range (PFU), I have even observed how it is set increasingly higher requirements for our own attitudes, actions, methods, and relationships. The combination of social media, fake news and increasing distrust of institutions and elites, has reinforced this material. The only effective method against the failing trust is openness about the media's working methods, sources, values and economic interests or connections. Such pressure is no disadvantage, but will increase the media's quality and credibility.

It can blowing cold and hard in the open landscape. Life is not for amateurs, and love is a force that does not follow the reglementene. Therefore, it is important to practice ethics without the turn to condemnation or regelrytteri. Immaculate journalists or politicians are not, and there is also no use for them. Therefore I want Frithjof Jacobsen and Jette Christensen good luck on the road ahead.

VG has undergone Frithjof Jacobsen's comments
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