Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ignorance? Arrogance? Or just guessing about the facts & details about the country of Canada? The Canadian Complaint with the Norwegian Media.

The Continent is called North America, not "USA og Canada."
Nationality of Canada = Canadian (French and English speaking).
Nationality of Mexico = Mexican (Spanish) in green.
Nationality of USA = American (English) in pink.
There is no country in the world called "USA og Canada." The continent of North America has three countries, Canada, Mexico, and USA located on it. Mexico and the USA are republics, with a president and states; Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy with a Queen, a parliament, and provinces. Why does it seem like some Norwegian journalists expect Canada to be the same as the USA? Norwegians are doing themselves a disservice if they're going to report the nationality of Canadians as Americans, dump Canada into foreign USA's news stories and social problems, geographically locate Canadian cities in foreign countries like the USA or France, write that the USA's currency is Canada's currency, use foreign American political terms and terminology for Canada, and generally report Canada as part of the USA or American in their coverage. These bad habits (of some) in the Norwegian media certainly does not reflect Canada, Canadians, Canadian culture, Canadian way of life, and the Canadian people accurately when this is done. It really is like Canadian journalists coming to Norway and overwhelmingly reporting everything about Norway as really Swedish or German. It may come as a surprise or shock to many Norwegians, but Canada and Canadians are not part of the USA, and quite happy not being Americans. Canada is its own country, in its own right, and feel they have done just as good a job at creating a quality French and English speaking nation deserving of its fair and independent recognition. Just because Canada is located beside the USA, doesn't mean Canada is part of it. Unlike, Norway under Swedish rule, Canada has never been part of the USA, and is a bilingual nation using Canadian-French and Canadian-English.

Why do Norwegian Journalists dump Canada in with the USA's News that has Nothing to do with Canada, Canadians, or Canadian news?
Canada, Canadians, and Canadian culture deserves more respect in the Norwegian print media, than being constantly dumped in with the USA's news stories. The USA's news is not Canada's news. Just as Germany or Sweden's news is not Norway's news. There is no reason to add Canada into the USA's news stories that do not take place in Canada, nor relevant to events in Canadian news. What has Canada Done to Receive Such Low Standards & Sloppy Journalism in so many Norwegian Print Media Stories? It seems many in the Norwegian journalists need to develop a higher standard for Canadian reporting after reading the often poor quality of Canadian coverage in Norwegian stories. Odd mistakes happen and is no big issue, but mistakes about Canada, and Canadians seem to be a fairly regular occurrence. If even the most basic Canadian details aren't correct in a story (for example - Canada's political system, Canadian currency, Canadian current events, locating Canadian cities in the wrong country), then how can Norwegian readers trust the content to be fair and accurate? The accuracy and fairness of the content presented to Norwegian readers are important, are they not? It's not Canada's fault it happens to be located beside the USA, but that still doesn't make Canada and Canadians part of the USA, the USA's political system, the USA's news, etc.

Why do so Many Norwegian Journalists use the USA's
Terminology, Currency, and Political Descriptions for Canada?
For some strange reason, many Norwegian stories about Canada seem to include the use of American political terms, American currency, and American geo-political terms and descriptions that are not at all Canadian, not used in Canada, have never been used in Canada, and not part of Canadian history, Canadian experience, Canadian geography, and everyday life of Canadians. For example, Canada does not have states, Canada does not have state governors, Canada does not have a president, Canada does not use the USA's currency, Canada does not play American football, Canada does not play American hockey, and the nationality of people living in Canada is Canadian, (not American) etc. It's clear the effort is made by Norwegian journalists to use the correct terminology, descriptions, and currency for countries like Britain, China, Afghanistan, France, Australia; then why not for Canada? Norwegian journalists don't think just because Canada is located beside the USA it must be the same history, terminology, culture for Canada and Canadians, as in the USA? Unlike Norway, being controlled the Crown of Sweden until 1905, Canada has never been part of the USA, has it's own languages, culture, currency, and history. Should Canadians assume being beside big brother Sweden, that the Swedish Crown is Norway's currency? Or that Swedish is the language of Norway? Or ABBA is Norwegian? That IKEA is Norwegian chain of stores around the world?

Why Would Canadians Want to Visit Norway if they're not Respected for being from Canada and for their Canadian Nationality?
Why would a Canadian want to visit Norway, when most Norwegians think he's from the USA, just want to talk to him about Canada's neighbouring country - the USA, and not really be too interested in his Canadian nationality or his homeland of Canada? Imagine Norwegians travelling in Canada only to be introduced throughout Canada as our "Swedish" friend or he's "from Sweden." Historically, close to 90,000 Norwegians chose Canada for the dream of a new life from 1814 onwards. They became loyal British Subjects, and new Canadians. Today, some 350,000 plus Canadians claim some Norwegian heritage. The Norwegian ancestors of these Canadians chose Canada, not the USA, and should be fairly treated and recognised for that choice to become Canadians, and not Americans. Norwegian journalists should not report about Canada by looking through American eyes; this would be like Canadian journalists writing about Norway through the eyes of big brother Sweden. The Norwegian education system has perhaps failed in educating Norwegians of the Norwegian immigrants that left Norway, and chose to immigrate to countries around the world, and not the USA. And, has perhaps failed to educate Norwegians about the contributions these Norwegian immigrants made in helping build other countries that are not the USA.

Canadians are Definitely Just as Ignorant of Norway and Norwegians!
It's easy to understand the average Norwegian lacking knowledge of Canada (that is not a problem), as Canadians are probably just as ignorant about Norway. But, the Norwegian print media adding Canada into hundreds of the USA news stories; using American terms to describe the politics of Canada; using American currency instead of the correct Canadian currency for Canada; and identifying a Canadian's nationality as American, cannot help to clarify Canada and Canadians to Norwegian readers! Why should the USA receive credit in a Norwegian story for what Canada or Canadians have done? Surely journalists are supposed to verify facts, try not to guess, not assume or change details to what they think is right or think they know when reporting a story?

Canada is not Politically attached to the USA!
Some Norwegian journalists need to stop thinking of Canada as somehow politically attached or part of the USA, and need to understand what is Canadian, and what it means to be Canadian, if they're ever going to cover Canada, Canadians, and Canadian culture with some sense of accuracy! From some of the Norwegian stories noted below, it's a fair question to ask if some Norwegians actually know that Canada is a separate country from the USA?

View of a Canada - USA international land border crossing between Canada and the USA (entering the USA from Canada) at the international border (officially known as the "International Boundary"). Canadians need a passport to enter the USA, just as Canadians need a passport to enter Norway. The present border originated with the Treaty of Paris in 1783, after the American Revolutionary War ended(earning the USA independence), in which Canadians remained loyal to Britain and the British Empire.

Why do so many Norwegian journalists locate Canadian cities, Canadian provinces, and Canadian universities in the USA or France? Canadian cities (whether in the French speaking or English speaking parts of Canada), like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa (the Canadian capital) etc., are located in Canada, not in the USA or France.

There is a Norwegian Double Standard: Why do so many Norwegian journalists identify the Canadian nationality and citizenship of Canadian actors & musicians as American, or being from the USA? Just because a Canadian works or lives in the USA, it doesn't mean he or she is not a Canadian. For example, Canadian actor William Shatner lives and works in the USA, but he's Canadian. He grew up in the French part of Canada, speaks French and English, and is a Canadian citizen. Just because he lives in the USA doesn't make him an American. If a Norwegian lives in the Sweden, Canada, or USA for a career or by choice, should the Canadian media report him or her as a Swede, a Canadian, or an American when they are in fact Norwegian? Norwegian Torill Kove has lived in Canada since 1982, and is a Canadian citizen, but is she still not a Norwegian? In the Norwegian media she is never reported or given any credit as a Canadian. Suzann Pettersen is Norwegian and lives in the USA, so does that mean it's correct for the Canadian media to start reporting or identifying her as an American now just because she lives in the USA? If the Norwegians can claim Knut Rockne in their media stories as Norwegian (after moving to the USA at five years of age); then why can't some Norwegian journalists give Canadians credit for their Canadian nationality when a Canadian is successful in the USA? Why is their Canadian nationality taken away from them so easily? Norwegian stories on Canadians Peter Jennings, Leonard Cohen, William Shatner, etc., are all good examples. Seems like a Norwegian double standard.

Why do so many Norwegian journalist apply American standards, American laws or American rules, as the Canadian standards?
The USA's laws are not Canada's laws. Canada's legal system is based off France and Great Britain, not the USA. Are Germany's laws the laws of Norway? So why would the USA's laws be the laws of Canada? Norwegian stories on Canadian tipping, Canadian travel & customs regulations, Canadian university entrance exams for example some to mind.

Why is much of the Canadian content or aspect of a Canadian story or event, at times, removed from Canadian stories or changed to look American, or no reference made to Canadian events even taking place in Canada?

Why are Norwegians obtaining success in Canada, or awareness in Canada, less likely to be promoted as Canadian success, or Canada even referred to in the story?

When Norwegians are on tour in North America ( touring both Canada and the USA), why is it that 80% of the time Canada listed under the USA, or as part of the USA, and omitted from the headline? Is "little Canada" not worth mentioning, except as a footnote, or as some part of the USA, even where there may be as many tour dates in Canada as in the USA?

Why are so many newspapers and Norway's NTB reluctant to correct mistakes in their stories after being notified of mistakes? Seems like it would be the right thing to do for the benefit of Norwegian readers?

Why is coverage of Canadian (Canada is a G-8 nation with some clout in this world) news so rare in the Norwegian media? And why is Canadian news, when a tragic or terrible story (like a school shooting, or murder), played up in the Norwegian media as major "epidemic" problems in Canada, or lumped in with events in the USA, as to make it seem like it's a big "American" problem in Canada? When in fact, compared to the USA, these types of crime stories and criminal events in Canada are very rare compared to the USA and many European countries. Is Canada really so insignificant a country to Norwegians?

Are Norwegians no better at seeing Canada as part of the USA, in the same way Norwegians complain how the world sees them as part of Sweden?

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