• Norway's news in English
 

Newsreader banned from wearing cross on air

Published: 04 Nov 2013 11:49 GMT+01:00

Siv Kristin Sællmann, who reads NRK's regional news for southern Norway, last month came on air several times wearing a discreet 1.4cm long gold cross, studded with tiny black diamonds.
 
Immediately, viewers began to call in with complaints, pushing Anders Sårheim, the regional editor, to instruct her not to wear the symbol in future. 
 
"What I don't like is that people out there can just call in and tell my boss what I should and I shouldn't wear," Sællmann told The Local. 
 
She claims that she never thought of the cross, which her husband bought her on a recent holiday in Dubai, as more than a piece of jewellery. 
 
"I didn't wear the cross because I wanted to be provocative," she said. "I am a Christian, but right now I see the cross everywhere. It's part of the catwalk. It's part of fashion.  It's not like only Christians wear the symbol. I didn't think that people would react." 
 
Sårheim told the Norwegian newspaper Vårt Land that he was simply following the channel's stated clothing policies. 
 
"NRK has a clear policy that news anchors should be dressed neutrally, and we encourage them to avoid the use of jewellery with religious and political significance," he said. 
 
Sællmann said that although Sårheim had not told her who had complained, she suspected the opposition came from humanist groups rather than Muslims. 
 
She stressed that she had never had a conflict with Sårheim about the issue, and would never deliberately wear clothes or jewellery likely to alienate viewers. 
 
"I don't want to have any conflict with my boss," she said. "I wouldn't like it if people that watched me read the news on TV considered me as being apart in some way. I want to be as neutral as possible." 
 
In 2006, the UK's BBC went through similar controversy after some of its management pushed the newsreader Fiona Bruce to stop wearing a cross while presenting the news. Bruce was eventually allowed to continue wearing the symbol. 

Richard Orange (richard.orange@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Kenya accuses Norway of 'supporting terror'
Dennis Itumbi, Director of Digital Communications for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenya accuses Norway of 'supporting terror'

A senior media official in the Kenyan government has accused Norway of “supporting Terrorism” with a post on Twitter whose hashtag #NorwaySupportsTerror, by Monday afternoon had became the top trending topic among the country’s vibrant community of Twitter users. READ  

Man rowing entire coast of Norway
Kjell Tore Solvang takes a short break during his long journey. Photo: Kjell Tore Solvang/Facebook

Man rowing entire coast of Norway

A Norwegian man has embarked on a mission to row the entire length of Norway, from the Swedish border in the south to the Russian border in the north. READ  

Mystery skull decapitated as sacrifice: experts
Police immediately cordoned off the area of Kyrkjetangen where the skull was found. Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

Mystery skull decapitated as sacrifice: experts

A skull found by two walkers at a popular seaside park in Bergen may have belonged to an iron age woman who had been ritually decapitated in a human sacrifice, archeologists have concluded. READ  

Odegaard youngest ever Real Madrid debutant
Martin Ødegaard on the bench at the Estadio Bernabeu before Real Madrid's match against Almería last month. Photo: EFE / NTB scanpix

Odegaard youngest ever Real Madrid debutant

Norwegian football prodigy Martin Ødegaard on Saturday night became the youngest player ever to debut for Real Madrid, taking to the pitch against Getafe at just 16 years, five months and six days old. READ  

Norway overtakes Russia in European gas
A receiving terminal operated by Norway's Gassco. Photo: Gassco

Norway overtakes Russia in European gas

Norway has overtaken Russia as the leading supplier of gas to western Europe, according to data collected by Reuters from Norway’s state gas network operator Gassco and Russian state company Gazprom. READ  

Oslo woman 'cut up frozen mother with a saw'
A snow-covered garden (note: this garden is in no way connected to the crime committed in the story). Photo: Timo Newton-Syms/Flickr

Oslo woman 'cut up frozen mother with a saw'

A 62-year-old woman in Oslo has been charged for leaving the body of mother outside until it was frozen solid and then attempting to saw her legs off. READ  

Video
Norway man in 'human flag' stunt over waterfall
Eskil Rønningsbakken beginning his stunt over the Vettisfossen waterfall. Photo: Screen Grab

Norway man in 'human flag' stunt over waterfall

Norwegian extreme balancing artist Eskil Rønningsbakken has performed his terrifying 'human flag' stunt over a 275-meter waterfall without safety equipment. READ  

Oslo builds world's first bumblebee highway
A bumlebee lands on an Echinacea flower. Photo: Swallowtail Garden Seeds/Flickr

Oslo builds world's first bumblebee highway

The Norwegian capital has inaugurated the world's first 'bumble bee highway', a corridor through the city pollen stations every 250 meters. READ  

Day care worker charged with abusing 11 kids
The playground in the kindergarten in Tromsø where the man worked. Photo:Morten Bjørnbakk / NTB scanpix

Day care worker charged with abusing 11 kids

A man in Tromsø has been charged with sexually abusing at least eleven children at the kindergarten where he worked, in a case which has alarmed Norway. READ  

Norway start-up founder in multi-million sell-out
The WooThemes team celebrating the sale. Photo: WooThemes

Norway start-up founder in multi-million sell-out

Norwegian start-up entrepreneur Magnus Jepson has sold WooThemes, his Wordpress template company, for a rumoured price of around $50m (400m Norwegian kroner) making him an instant multi-millionaire.. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
Norway's men soon to be among Europe's fattest
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,206
jobs available