Tomorrow morning I’m flying over to Norway at the invitation of SKUP – “a foundation … dedicated to promoting investigative journalism in Norway” [according to their website]. I’ll be speaking on a panel under the heading Finanskrisen: Penger gjör blind, which to the best of my knowledge translates as: The Financial Crisis: Money Makes Blind. On the panel I guess we’ll try to dissect why the Icelandic media did virtually nothing to investigate or report on the imminent collapse of the Icelandic financial sector.
All this came about because back in January I agreed to meet with a couple of investigative journos from Norway who contacted me through the blog. They took me out for dinner and got me drunk picked my brain about various things, and the crazy thing was that it was right in the middle of all the rioting and we were at a restaurant right next to the parliament buildings. So all through dinner we had a front-row seat of bonfires being lit on Austurvöllur square and we conducted our little chat to the tribal chanting of the angry Nicelandic masses. It was great for them – they happened to be right in the thick of things as the riots came to a head and the government eventually collapsed.
As it turned out, these guys were award-winning investigative journalists in Norway who among other things had been instrumental in putting Norway’s richest man behind bars. These guys get as much as 2-3 months to work on a single story – a situation that, sad to say, is pretty much unthinkable here on our little isle. Anyway, it’s thanks to them that I’ll have the privilege of traveling to Norway to take part in the conference, which by the looks of the programme [and their past track record] promises to be incredibly interesting.
Meanwhile, I did a written interview with a paper in China [Bejing News] a couple of days ago that I thought I’d post here at some point while I’m away, as some of you might be interested in how the crisis is affecting us on a day-to-day basis.