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First resignation on Morgunblaðið over Doddson’s editorial policy

Gunnhildur Arna Gunnarsdóttir, one of the news editors of Morgunblaðið, has resigned from the paper as she disagreed with the paper’s handling of the information published in the Black Report. In particular she found fault with the screaming headline on the front page of the paper the day following the publication of the report, and the fact that the Morgunblaðið editors did not wish to elaborate in any great detail on the negligence of politicians and public officials.

In large letters, the headline proclaimed:

THE BANKS ARE RESPONSIBLE

Of course, as many people will know, Davíð Oddsson, who is now Morgunblaðið’s editor-in-chief, was instrumental in implementing the liberal policies that created the foundation for the collapse. Along with his political compatriot Halldór Ásgrímsson he then went on to privatize the banks and personally intervene in that process to ensure that they were sold to people close to his own political party, who just happened to have little or no experience in banking. Having done that, he installed himself as Central Bank Director, where he remained for three years until the Icelandic economy melted down. He obstinately refused to leave his post at the CB, until he was forced out by a change in legislation introduced by the new government.

That man now edits one of the major daily papers in this country.

One of the main concerns when Doddsson took over as editor of long-established Morgunblaðið was that he and those under him would not be able to report on the findings of the Black Report in any credible way. These recent developments bear this out.

As far as I know, Gunnhildur Arna is the only person who has resigned over this so far, and reportedly she’s content with her decision. Or as she told visir.is:

Since I’m from the West Coast I like to use seafaring metaphors. The editor controls his vessel and has to have people on his crew who he can trust to obey and carry out his orders. Similarly the entire crew, the deckhands and mates, have to believe in the captain and feel confident in following his orders.

And adds:

I wish them luck in finding a successor who believes in their direction and news policy.

Hats off to Gunnhildur Arna for showing the integrity and courage to take a stand and walk away. As for the paper’s handling of the SIC report findings — well, we can’t really say we didn’t see it coming, can we?

Comments

comments

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • hildigunnur April 30, 2010, 1:07 am

    Respect!

  • Mark April 30, 2010, 2:13 am

    Respect Gunnhildur! I want to buy you a weeks worth of shopping and treats!

  • Tom Harper April 30, 2010, 10:08 am

    Good for her. I hope she finds opportunities elsewhere as a result of demonstrating such integrity.

    And if people really want to punish particular individuals for the crash, this is the man you should start with. No business man or banker in Iceland could have done it without the help of one Davið Oddson.

  • joeinvegas April 30, 2010, 4:12 pm

    Nice to see that some people stand by their principles, even at the cost of their jobs.

  • sylvia hikins April 30, 2010, 4:28 pm

    In the present economic climate, this is a brave decision. Great stuff Gunnhildur! If everyone did the same, then maybe Morganbladid would have to look for another editor. And if nobody bought the paper, then the ship would definately sink. You’ve had a pots and pans revolution. How about a Scupper Morganbladid revolution?
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • Joe Jarrell May 2, 2010, 5:37 am

    Are the other newspapers in Iceland so bad that Morganbladid is the only game in town. Stop buying it. Tell the advertisers not to use it. Money talks, all else walks.

  • Jónathan May 2, 2010, 6:19 pm

    Start each morning with Morgunbaðið and wash away all those dirty, distracting thoughts about politics!!

  • Pat May 3, 2010, 7:24 am

    I agree with Joe. And while we’re at it, why don’t the British people boycott all of the ventures connected to the Icelandic “businessmen” who now reside there?

  • alda May 3, 2010, 11:26 am

    Are the other newspapers in Iceland so bad that Morganbladid is the only game in town. Stop buying it. Tell the advertisers not to use it.

    Many, many of us have stopped buying it. But this is similar to telling people to stop buying Silvio Berlusconi’s media in Italy, and telling the advertisers not to use it. There are too many groups who are far too invested, who will keep Morgunblaðið going to further their own agendas. And there will always be people who are willing to be deceived.

  • Tom Harper May 3, 2010, 11:28 am

    “And there will always be people who are willing to be deceived.”

    Indeed, just look at Fox News in the US.