Saturday, June 27, 2009 - 8 Stories

1) Gruvejubel i Canada (Sindre Heyerdahl) 28 November 2008
In this story the Norwegian journalist writes: "Amerikanserne er torsdag benket foran spisebordene med kalkun på bordet. Også investorene feirer Thanksgiving - med feriestengte børser....I lillebror Canada er imidlertid den årvisse høsttakkefesten allerede unnagjort, og børsen er oppe...For den ledende kanadiske indeksen S&P er oppgangen klokken 21.03 kommet opp i 0,5 prosent." This story is an excellent example of the mentality and treatment towards Canada and Canadians by many journalists in the Norwegian press. First, what does the USA and American Thanksgiving and the close of the USA's markets have to do with reporting about Canada's TSX markets for Thursday, 27th of November 2008? Canada is just the neighbour to the USA, not part of the USA, we don't celeberate American Thanksgiving. This would be like a Canadian journalist reporting about Oslo's markets due to a national holiday in Germany. Second, Canada is not the little brother to the USA, and to say that is insulting to Canadians, and reflects the ignorance many Norwegian journalists have about Canada and Canadians. Canada is not even part of the same family, so how can we be the little brother? Third, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) in Canada is open because Canada does not celebrate the holiday of American Thanksgiving, so of course the TSX is open, as it is a normal working day in Canada. Fourth, the name of the TSX in Canada is the S&P/TSX, not the S&P this journalist has written. The TSX has been around since 1852 and "the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX; abbreviated TSE until 2001) is the largest stock exchange in Canada, the third largest in North America and the seventh largest in the world by market capitalization. Based in Canada's largest city, Toronto, it is owned and operated by TSX Group for the trading of senior equities. A broad range of businesses from Canada, the United States, Europe, and other countries are represented on the exchange."(Source: Wikipedia). The TSX in Canada has a very noble history in Canada. It's true, Canada may not be a superpower like the USA, but as a G-8 nation (with a population of 33 million Canadians) an economy of $1,723,302 Canadian dollars in 2007 (larger than Norway, India, Russia and many others) Canada does deserve a more respectful attitude by this author and many others in the Norwegian press that seem to think Canada is some miniscule little country in North America, and not worth mentioning. It is absolutely sad that most Norwegian journalists can't write a story about the country of Canada, Canadians, and Canadian culture for what it is - Canadian, without having to compare the country to the USA. This would be like a Canadian journalist never being able to write a story about Norway without constantly comparing Norway to Germany or Sweden. And for the record, Thanksgiving in North America was celebrated first in Canada some 43 years before the holiday was first celebrated in the USA, and its origins in Canada are a different holiday than what takes place in the USA; hence the reason it is celebrated in October in Canada.
2) Spår større rederier (By GRETE DE LANGE) 28 June 2005
In this story the Norwegian journalist writes: "- I Norge snakkes det meget om at det er negativt å bli kjøpt opp. Men vi følte at vi hadde hard konkurranse fra norske investorer. Hver gang vi har gjort oppkjøp har vi betalt full pris, sier Bjørn Møller, på telefon fra hovedkvarteret i Vancouver i USA." This is wrong. The Canadian city of Vancouver is located in Canada, not in the USA. After contacting the journalist she refused to changed saying that she thought readers will know Vancouver is in Canada. If the journalist doesn't know it's in the USA, can she expect most Norwegian readers will know? And why the refusal to correct the mistake?
3) Toyota Prius en miljøversting (By Øystein Sjølie ) 17 December 2006
In this story the Norwegian journalist writes "Fabrikken ligger i den canadiske delstaten Ontario." Ontario is a province in Canada, not a state. Canada does not have states, and uses the French system of provinces. Canada has been using provinces since Canada became a Royal Province of France in 1663. Countries like France, China, Canada, Afghanistan all have provinces. Why would a Norwegian journalist use an American term of "state" to describe a Canadian province in Canada? Mexico and the USA are the only two countries in North America that have states, Canada has provinces. It is odd in the Norwegian press that coverage about provinces in countries like Afghanistan, China, and other countries never seem to be referred to as states, but with Canada there is either assumption, guessing, or both. Should the facts not be checked before printing? After writing this journalist to notify him of his error, a reply was never received.
4) Et garantert dårlig forslag (By Øystein Sjølie) 20 March 2007
In this story and the reference to the province of Alberta in Canada, the Norwegian journalist (same as in the above story) writes: "Den kanadiske delstaten Alberta startet utvinning av olje tidlig på 1970-tallet." The mistake in the story is that Alberta is a province in Canada. Canada does not have and has never had states. Canada first became a Royal Province of France in 1663, and Canadians have been using the French system of Provinces ever since. The only two countries in North America with states are Mexico and the USA. The name of the political leader of a Canadian province is called a Premier, and provinces differ from states in how they function politically and legally. Despite the fact there is a word in Norwegian for provinces called provins, the author decided (assumed or guessed?) to apply a foreign term to Canada's internal political divisions. How can someone trust what a journalist writes if even the most basic of facts are not correct? In e-mailing this journalist to point out this error, he both refused to change it and saw no need for it. It is unbelievable that a journalist would accept to not only look uniformed to readers, but not want to bother to correct his error. His explaination was "The US does not use ”delstat” either. “Delstat” is a Norwegian word, describing a political entity, which is somewhat more autonomous than the Norwegian “Fylke” but not as much as “stat”. I am aware that Canada and US have different names for their regional political entities, but I don’t see why I should use different Norwegian words." Why is there a Norwegian word for province in the Norwegian language if Norwegians are not going to use the correct word for a province?? It will be virtually impossible to find a story in the Norwegian press that refers to China or Afghanistan or other countries in the world with provinces referred to as "states" in Norwegian stories, yet for some reason in the Norwegian press Canadian provinces are often refered to as "states". Why the double standard with the country of Canada versus other countries by so many in the Norsk press? Is it ignorance of Canada? If a Norwegian journalist knows Canada is divided into provinces why whould he use the wrong Norwegian word to describe them instead of the correct Norwegian word - provins? When notified of their mistakes it seems many Norwegian journalists do not like to admit they are wrong and simply won't change the errors. Perhaps they are too confident in what they "think" they know is correct and perhaps too arrogant to want to do the right thing and change the mistake? If so, this is a very unprofessional journalism, as the Norsk Pressorbund states that mistakes should be corrected, but perhaps this journalist thinks he is above the guidelines of the Norsk Presseforbund?
5) Gambler på høy oljepris (YNGVE HELLESTØL) 28 April 2007
In this story regarding the Canadian oil company North American Oil Sands Corporation the Norwegian journalist calls it " North Amrica Oil Sands Corp." As well, he writes the company comes from "delstaten Alberta i Canada." Alberta is a province in Canada, not a state, as Canada does not have and never has had states.
6) Et garantert dårlig forslag (By Øystein Sjølie) 20 March 2007
In this story the Norwegian journalist writes: "Den kanadiske delstaten Alberta" and "Albertas investeringsfond skulle investere i ulike prosjekter i delstaten." In this story the Norwegian journalist writes "delstaten Alberta." This is a mistake. Alberta is a province in Canada, and joined Canada in 1905. Canada does not have states, but divided internally by 10 provinces and 3 territories. The Norwegian word for province is "provins". Canada has been using the system of provinces since 1663, when Canada became a Royal province of France. The author has guessed or assumed Alberta is a state otherwise he would have used the correct Norwegian term - provis.
7) It-ansatte trenger stresshjelp (Pål Dimmen, Computerworld) 4 September 2007
In this story publish on E24, the Norwegian journalist writes: "En ny amerikansk undersøkelse viser at it-bedrifter må investere mer i stresshjelp for sine ansatte. Men i Norge er situasjonen en annen, mener HMS-ekspert... En gruppe forskere ved Universitetet i Ontario har kommet frem til at it-selskaper i større." The study is a Canadian study done at a Canadian univeristy - the University of Western Ontario in Ontario, Canada. This story has nothing to do with the USA, or any American university as the Norwegian journalist has written. The USA website this story was taken from states: "August 31, 2007 (Computerworld Canada) -- A Canadian graduate school study suggests companies should start investing in IT-specific employee assistance programs and offer more peer support for technology professionals who are struggling to manage their stress levels. The study, "Of Races to Run and Battles to be Won: Technical Skill Updating, Stress and Coping of IT Professionals," also recommended companies look for optimism as a key personality trait when recruiting for IT roles that demand intensive and constant technical skill updating. The results of the study, which was conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business, will be published in a human resources management journal later this year." Yet, the Norwegian story has changed their story to state this was an American university and American study, yet it is clear from the USA story (picked up from Computerworld Canada) it is Canadian and from Canada. How does this story get changed in the Norwegian press to be American from Canadian??
8) Ett år, seks aksjer i pluss (By Kathleen Buer) 22 November 2008
In this story the Norwegian journalist writes: "Det selvstendige energiselskapet utvikler aktivt en portefølje bestående av olje- og gass-ressurser i Canada. Questerre har letetillatelse i tre stater, Alberta, British Columbia og Quebec." This is not correct. Canada does not have states, it has provinces. Canada has never had states, and has been using the French system of provinces for 345 years when Canada became a Royal Province of France in 1663. Mexico and the USA are the only two countries in North America with states, Canada does not. The story was corrected the next day after e-mailing E24.

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