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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 22.10.2021, 02:44

Norwegian daily's Aftenposten article about Lithuanian daily Respublika breaches ethic code

Danuta Pavilenene, BC, Vilnius, 29.03.2012.Print version
On Wednesday, the Norwegian Ethical Commission of the Press made a decision that the Norwegian daily Aftenposten has breached the Code of Ethics by publishing an article about the Lithuanian national daily Respublika in 2011.

Last year, in early January Aftenposten issued several publications based on a report made by the USA embassy in Vilnius in 2007 which was later leaked by WikiLeaks, writes LETA/ELTA.


The document sent from Vilnius to the USA State Department refers to allegedly corrupt press and three particularly mentioned dailies: Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Kauno Diena. While writing the article, Aftenposten did not contact the publishers of Respublika.


The Committee adds that "the relationship between Aftenposten, its owner Schibsted and the media situation in Lithuania is of such nature that the newspaper [Aftenposten], in this particular case, should have been more cautious in fulfilling the provisions in the Code of Ethics requiring media to be critical of their sources."


The first one to disclose the information in Lithuania was the news portal owned by the Schibsted concern. Shortly after that, the information was released by other news portals and DELFI.


"The allegations are essentially based on a U.S. embassy document which Aftenposten has received access to through Wikileaks. In such a situation it is an ethical requirement that documents be submitted to a particularly critical evaluation before they are published. In line with this, the right to simultaneous refutation of reputation damaging allegations is of particular relevance," the commission said in its statement.


While indirectly evaluating the confrontation of local and foreign capital media in Lithuania, the commission said that in such cases, when it seems that the press – albeit indirectly – is of interest to release a particular article, there requirement are even more important.


Oslo-based law firm Dalan defends Respublikos Leidiniai Group's interests in Norway.


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