• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

News site slammed for Haakon divorce rumours

Richard Orange · 2 Dec 2013, 13:32

Published: 02 Dec 2013 13:32 GMT+01:00

ABC Nyheter  reported on Thursday that Norwegians had started to ring the Royal Palace in panic after rumours of an impending divorce circulated on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. 
 
It based its story on a recording of a call to the palace posted onto YouTube by Katrine Angelica Østlyngen, a journalism student. 
 
"We are familiar with the rumour, and it's just a rumour," a palace official told her. "You are not the first to have called and asked about it. But it's not true." 
 
Kjersti Løken Stavrum, general secretary of the Norwegian Press Association, said that the website had broken the rules of good journalism. 
 
"I think that they ended up passing on rumours, because although they themselves are not responsible for the taping that they published, they haven't really done any research themselves," she told The Local.  "I think that in principle the established media shouldn't pass on rumours. I don't think that's journalism. Journalism is fact-based reporting, based on sources that can be traced." 
 
Tor Strand, ABC Nyheter's editor, denied the charge. 
 
"We never print stories about rumours, but this is a story about people's reaction to the rumours. For me that's a big difference," he told The Local.  "This is not a story about the content of the rumours, it's a story about how Norwegian people got anxious because of the rumours." 
 
He admitted that he had received angry emails and phone calls from editors on other newspapers on Friday and over the weekend. 
 
"It's a tradition among Norwegian editors and journalists to not write about rumours whatsoever, and of course they don't agree with me in publishing that story," he said. "But the way I see it, our story is no different from the story you intend to write yourself.  We don't sas what the rumours are all about -- apart from the main conclusion that there is going to be a divorce." 
Story continues below…
 
Stavrum argued that the biggest problem with ABC Nyheter's report was that stories about famous people's relationships, like those about their sexual orientation, are difficult for the subjects to quash. 
 
"They're the kind of rumour which are very hard to deny. For years there were rumours that Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was gay.  It's not easy to go out there and say 'we are not going to divorce', or say 'I'm not gay'. I think they are quite similar." 
 

Richard Orange (richard.orange@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brexit - Opinion
Norwegian in London: 'Brexit is dreadful for the UK's unity'
Commuters cross the London Bridge on Friday. Photo: DANIEL SORABJI/Scanpix

Welsh-Norwegian reporter Sunniva Davies-Rommetveit writes that Brexit leaves her fearing a new isolationist UK.

Norway enjoys one of world's 'best reputations'
Despite a fall from second, Norway still enjoys one of the world's best reputations. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Norway tumbled three spots in a new report ranking the most reputable countries in the world.

Brexit
Norway PM: EU should heed Brexit ‘warning’
People walk past a "Vote Leave" sign as they arrive to vote in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Thursday. Photo: Paul Faith/Scanpix

Erna Solberg said on Friday morning that she is worried about the knock-off political consequences of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Rain threatens Norway's Sankthans celebrations
According to the forecast, this year's Sankthans celebrations won't be quite as nice as last year. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Norwegians may have a hard time lighting their Sankthans bonfires, as the weekend calls for damp conditions throughout the country, particularly in the south.

Surprise! Norway not priciest place for food in Europe
Filling your cart in a Norwegian supermarket costs 159 percent of the EU average. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

... but it is for booze and tobacco.

PM 'happy' with asylum restrictions but wants more
By her own calculations, PM Erna Solberg has delivered on 95 percent of her promises. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

PM Erna Solberg touted her government’s success in delivering on its 2013 election promises but said she regrets that she couldn’t push through even more asylum restrictions.

Man threatens to set himself on fire at Norway's parliament
he incident occurred at Eidsvoll Square, just west of the parliament building. Photo: Chris Brown/Flickr

A man threatened to light himself on fire outside of the Norwegian parliament building in Oslo on Wednesday.

Brexit
Norway PM: Brexit will leave a more nationalistic Europe
Both PM Erna Solberg and FM Børge Brende said they fear the ramifications of Brexit. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Wednesday that she fears Europe will become a much more nationalistic place if Britain votes to leave the EU on Thursday.

From death row to romance: ex-con couple beats the odds
Sunny Jacobs (R) and Peter Pringle (L), who were on death row for several years and are now activists against death penalty, pictured at the Opera house in Oslo on Monday. Photo: Lars Os/AFP/Scanpix

Meet the unlikely couple sharing their story at the 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, being held in Oslo.

Animal rights groups slam Norway's whaling industry
The report alleges that Norway has escaped international scrutiny over its whaling industry. Photo: Martin Cathrae/Flickr

A report alleges that Norway has been mostly shielded from scrutiny by the international community.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
2,038
jobs available