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The Norwegian Newspapers Romerikes Blad and Østlandets Blad censor
Erik Strand, 23.03.16

On Friday 26. February, I submitted a post to the newspaper Østlandets Blad's online debate forum. One or two days later, I submitted the same post to the newspaper Romerikes Blad's online debate forum. Both newspapers are local newspapers in Akershus county. To this date, none of the online fora have accepted and published my post (the fora are pre moderated). I sent mails to both newspapers on 8. March, asking whether the newspapers would publish my post. None of the mails have been answered.

I wrote my post on behalf of the Coastal Party in Akershus county. The post was not about anything that is directly relevant to Fampo. It was a quite ordinary party political opinion piece (about the EEC agreement) - something that does not by itself belong on Fampo's website. There are still quite good reasons for writing about this censorship at Fampo's website.

At a meeting in Sandvika (suburb to Oslo) on 24 February, the local chapter of the Coastal Party in Akershus county was refounded, and I was elected chairperson. A few days after the meeting, I had created a website for the new chapter. In line with what was decided at the meeting, I published a leaflet at the newly created website. This duplex leaflet concentrates on corruption and abuse of power in Norway. It briefly mentions five areas:

1) The death of the Norwegian whistleblower Jan Wiborg
2) The Bygdeposten case - the dismissal of an editor who wrote about cases in which Fampo provided documentation
3) Former MP Erling Folkvord's book Vår korrupte hovedstad ('Our corrupt capital')
4) The Torgersen case - an infamous judicial murder. The emphasis was on which well-known persons have been involved.
5) The increasing censorship in Norwegian newspapers' web forums

One finds the leaflet (in Norwegian) here. The leaflets have hitherto been handed out to about 100 persons. Consequently, this is not about one ordinary party political post that is unwanted in two local newspapers. It is about how media contributes to silence about a party political county chapter that actively goes against corruption and abuse of power in Norway.

Whereas Romerikes Blad and Østlandets Blad silently declined to publish the post, the local newspaper Akershus Amtstidende has published the post.

For some background, the Coastal Party in Akershus has commented the censorship (in Norwegian) here.