Newsletter: About moose meat, paid journalism and dialogue

The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, made a great effort in Tromsø this week, but despite her explicit wish for dialogue, she morstly had to take the stand alone. (Photo: Arne F. Finne). / Utenriksminister Ina Eriksen Søreide gjorde en imponerende innsats i Tromsø denne uka, men på tross av innstendige oppfordringer til dialog, ble hun stort sett stående alene på scenen. (Foto: Arne F. Finne)

The conference season continues, this week with Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø. The first thing to meet the participants when arriving at the reception of Hotel Edge was Gunnhild Stordalen’s book, the wife of hotel owner Petter Stordalen.

Gunhild Stordalen is most well known for rather extreme dietary advice, most recently in a report stating that the world’s future sustainability is dependent on meat consumption being reduced to 14 grams per day.

One floor up from the ‘book sale’, participants were tempted with a stew containing chewy moose meat floating around in an undefined sauce and dried-up pasta. Priced at NOK 300 (€ 30), it is obviously sustainable for the hotel owner, though hardly for the globe, if we are to believe his wife.

Paid journalists
Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø, Norway gathers scientists, business leaders and politicians from large parts of the world, though also a rather impressive group of European journalists. The biggest Norwegian newspapers, however, are visibly absent.

The iTromsø newspaper this week provided a possible explanation (Norwegian only). The Foreign Ministry and Tromsø municipality pay altogether NOK 500,000 for travels and stays for journalists from a.o. BBC, the Guardian and Le Monde.

- Managing press ethics is really the press’ job, however, we also have to decide on whether we think this is okay and whether it is a responsible thing to do from a press-ethical point of view. In Norway, we do not like to pay for journalism, says Communications Manager Pål Jakobsen of Tromsø municipality to the same paper.

Climate savers in private jets
Unlike the attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, journalists arriving in Tromsø came on regular, commercial planes, according to Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The mining industry goes the opposite way and aims for emission-free operations of tunnels and minings in 5-10 years.

Foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide [Norway] was one of the most active participant at the conference, with meetings and keynote speeches from the early morning hours until late at night. Then she had to return to Oslo to be reappointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Erna Solberg’s new four-party government. Erna Solberg had cancelled her trip.

Ine Eriksen Søreide encouraged international dialogue about the Arctic, and was poignantly left standing alone on stage. The Russian delegation, including Russia’s Ambassador to Norway, Teimuraz O. Ramishvili, were left to sit among the audience.

Minister of Preparedness
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an editorial about how the Ministry of Justice had become more of an immigration department, whereas the responsibility for security and preparedness was given a lot less priority. (Norwegian only). Last week, Prime Minister Erna Solberg responded to criticism by appointing a separate minister for security and preparedness. (Norwegian only).

Next week, there are no conferences, but we guarantee that you will find news from the Arctic and the High North every single day of the week at High North News.
Have a great weekend!
Arne O. Holm

We also offer the following reads:
Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide: Northern Stability Not A Given
Searching for a  High North Hero