From Iceland — Morgunblaðið Publisher Defends Paper

Morgunblaðið Publisher Defends Paper

Published May 4, 2012

In a recent interview, Morgunblaðið publisher Óskar Magnússon said he believes his paper was attacked for political reasons when Davíð Oddsson was hired as co-editor, and believes that the paper changed the outcome of the Icesave matter.
As many will recall, Oddsson’s hiring was decried by the Icelandic Journalist Union, who took exception with what they saw as a clearly political hiring at a notoriously conservative newspaper, but also objected to the fact that with his hiring, some 40 journalists – many of whom had been at the paper for decades – had been laid off. The hiring also resulted in people unsubscribing from the paper in droves.
In a recent interview, Morgunblaðið publisher Óskar Magnússon told his side of the story.
Magnús contends that people who complain about Morgunblaðið must be reading it, as they would not be able to complain about the contents of the paper without seeing it with their own eyes. While not getting into specifics, he also maintains that the paper had a positive effect on the outcome of the Icesave matter, and that Oddsson was hired for “certain qualities that he and no other has”.
At the time of the Oddsson hiring, he admits that there were a number of people who unsubscribed from the paper, but that the hiring attracted some as well. He believes, though, that the wave of people unsubscribing was the result of “organised … political powers in society,” pointing out that RÚV published the phone number people should call in order to unsubscribe, which he believes was overstepping the bounds of objectivity.

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