The Telegraph reports on Davíð Oddsson’s hire as editor of
Morgunblaðið, quoting one unnamed reporter as calling the decision “a
The article mentions Oddsson’s past in politics and his role in the current financial crisis, but at the same time mentions that “Iceland’s media has long been dominated by its financial elite,” citing for example that Fréttablaðið is owned by Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, “the financial force behind another failed bank, Glitnir.”
The unnamed reporter quoted goes on to say “people are concerned that [Oddsson] may try to rewrite history in his favour”, and that there is concern that the same rich and powerful people who have been in control will stay in control.
The Telegraph also mentioned the Reykjavík Grapevine website’s recent decision not to use Morgunblaðið as a source so long as Oddsson is editor. We want to emphasize that our sympathies go out to the staff of Morgunblaðið, who recently saw 40 journalists – most of them full time and some of them decades-long employees – fired from their jobs, while not one but two big names were hired as new editors. We sincerely hope the remaining staff, many of them talented and hard-working individuals, are able to find a more stable and appreciative work environment elsewhere.
In related news, the Young Social Democrats released a statement “celebrating” Morgunblaðið’s descision to hire Oddsson – albeit ironically. The statement reads in part: “The owners have finally dared to show their true colors as a party paper of the Independence Party,” the conservative party which Oddsson chaired for many years. The statement added that Morgunblaðið has made room for a newspaper reporting real news to step forward.