Bloggers Battle For Free Speech In Norway

Bloggers have taken up the cause and are prepared to persevere. Where is the traditional media in the battle to prevent gov't curtailment of free speech?


...So how did the Norwegian press respond to having freedom of speech curtailed because it can cause conflicts, and that Norwegian law should be changed because some immigrant groups don't tolerate it like sturdy, Christian and ethnic Norwegians? With almost total silence," writes journalist Jon Hustad in Dag og Tid in his article "fear of criticism of religion", which was published Jan. 22.

One of the few things you could read about the case in the mainstream media was a report from news agency NTB that "the government wants to remove the blasphemy article." the report was reprinted in various media, including TV2, Nettavisen and DagenMagazinet. Then it was quiet.

But it was completely different on the net. The same day that the press release was published, the Islam-critical and conservative site document.no and the net version of Fri Tanke, the Humanist Association newspaper, features big posts.

The next week, the debate raged in blogger newspapers and several bloggers wrote about the case almost daily. The most active was undoubtedly Hans Rudstad, editor of document.no.

"The proposal came like a bomb. But it would take a long time before the bomb exploded," says Rustad to Dagbladet.no.

It took almost a month before the big newspapers and broadcast media took up the case. By then the law had already been described as an attack on democracy in Danish newspapers....

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