Strong support for Independent Barents Observer
The number of researchers signing up on the petition is growing day after day and now totals 28 people from a total of 12 research institutions, among them the universitities of Oslo, Bergen and Tromsø, as well as the U.S. University of British Columbia. Represented on the list are also researchers from institutes like the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, the Institute of Defence Studies, the Norwegian International of International Affairs, the Institute for Urban and Regional Research, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishmen, and others.
Editor Thomas Nilsen is grateful for the backing of the researchers.
”We are proud and humble for this support”, he underlines.
Since its launch on the 22nd October, the Independent Barents Observer has published almost 50 stories on developments in the north. Several of the stories have made headlines in a number of Norwegian national newspapers, TV-chanels and news agencies.
”We are showing that the newspaper has an important role to play”, Nilsen says. ”The Independent Barents Observer is able to deliver quality journalism on issues of cross-border relations, the Arctic and the Barents Cooperation, he underlines.
It was Associate Professor Geir Flikke from the University of Oslo who initiative the petition, following a string of suppressive action from the owners of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat.
The petition reads that “We find the treatment of the journalists at the Independent BarentsObserver deeply disturbing. The Independent BarentsObserver should be allowed to practice journalism under the Norwegian Editorial Declaration, and continue its high-quality research journalism on affairs in the High North without further interruption.
The letter is addressed to ”researchers, journalists and other members of the interested public.”
“We therefore call on the board to immediately stop pressuring the Independent BarentsObserver, its editor and journalists, and refrain from taking any legal steps to force the Independent BarentsObserver to change the name of the domain,” the petition says.