Hyllet Charlie Hebdo-redaktøren: - Du er en stor inspirasjon for norske redaktører
På lunsjen deltok 20 redaktører og andre medieledere og representanter for medieorganisasjoner.
Se opptak fra torsdagens sesjon i Arendalsukas hovedprogram her. Der innleder Gérard Biard med et foredrag. Deretter var det en samtale ledet av Kjersti Løken Stavrum. Der deltok blant annet Dagen-redaktør Vebjørn Selbekk.
Monsieur Biard, Madame Biard,
Gerard et Camille,
Je suis ravie de avoir fait votre connaissance et de passer cette après-midi avec vous. C’est un grand honneur pour nous de vous accueillir ici à Norvège, de discuter avec vous, et de partager des expériences communes sur les grandes questions de notre temps :
La liberté d’expression, les défis de nos démocraties et la responsabilité de la presse à toujours défier le pouvoir.
(Det er glede å få gjøre deres bekjentskap og å få tilbringe tid sammen med dere i dag. Det er en stor ære for oss å få dere på besøk til Norge, å diskutere med dere og dele felles erfaringer om de store spørsmålene i vår tid: ytringsfrihet, demokratienes utfordringer og pressens ansvar for alltid å utfordre makt)
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is with great honor and a sense of great responsibility that I salute Monsieur and Madame Biard. The situation of Charlie Hebdo and the debate yesterday was an important reminder of the precarious situation for freedom of speech in all parts of the world.
In a democracy, disagreement is unavoidable, even wanted. Living in a diverse society means living with discussion, debate and disagreement. It is inevitable that we sometimes offend the sensibilities of others. This can be painful.
But to accept that certain things cannot be said is to accept that certain forms of power can’t be challenged. And as editors, we can never accept that. Without the will to challenge power, our work is meaningless.
The question we should ask ourselves is not how we can minimize disagreement, but how we can promote a diversity of voices, views, and manners that express themselves verbally, written or drawn. How can we promote a tolerance for views other than our own, and help people express them in a democratic way?
As a public service broadcaster, the NRK should be balanced. That does not mean that we are apolitical. Our task is to defend and support our democracy and its values. We should ensure information for all, fight fake news and all forms of discrimination and make sure that everyone is entitled to speak their mind.
It is not just our job, but our duty, to promote a safe environment for those who exercise their right to freedom of expression.
Back in 2015 the French press united behind Charlie Hebdo. It was a rare moment of unity between people whose job it is to disagree. Soon after, it became clear that the entire press world stood up for you, supported you, mourned your loss and admired your will to proceed.
I am not in the habit of speaking for all of my colleagues, but for once I will state, that we who are here today – editors of the Norwegian media – admire you and take inspiration in your courage and will power.
One can argue that for satire these are the worst of times, and the best of times. The challenges are obvious, but the possibilities are plenty. Though all that’s happened, the power of satire has been highly exposed, and the need for satire has been obvious.
It can be argued that political satire has never been more important, in a world where people increasingly live in echo chambers and where strong powers try to distort a clear view of reality and even construct new realities.
There’s a Scandinavian children’s tale called “The Emperor’s new clothes” Hans Christian Andersen told the story of how an emperor with twisted advisors paraded through town with no clothes on, and the only person willing to expose him and risk repercussions was a small child.
Thank you for being that tiny, strong voice. Thank you for showing us a way to follow your beliefs without compromise.
We all need to risk more, accept more, and tolerate being challenged in our views and beliefs.