April Fool’s stories made the rounds

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Several Norwegian media outlets fell once again for the temptation of publishing foolish stories on Friday, aimed at fooling readers on April 1. It was difficult to determine which ones worked and which fell flat.

The false report getting the most attention was one published in the newspaper Dagen, which claimed that the Royal Palace in Oslo was opening up its cellar to house newly arrived refugees. The story cited a Member of Parliament for the Christian Democrats, Dagrun Eriksen, who played along by claiming to be thrilled over the royal gesture. Veteran royal reporter Kjell Arne Totland played along as well, quoted in Dagen as saying that opening up the palace to take in refugees “fits well with the inclusive profile the royal family has had over time.”

Another story, in the research magazine Apollon, reported that researchers had found a clear link between intelligence and bacteria found in the colon. The University of Oslo was reportedly inviting future students and others to take an “intelligent colon” exam.

Newspaper Klassekampen reported that the National Museum, which is starting to pack away exhibition objects in advance of a move to the new museum building under construction in Oslo, wouldn’t have room for all the National Gallery’s art. Museum director Audun Eckhoff had therefore reportedly chosen 100 items to be auctioned off, and would reveal them at a press conference at noon.

Not all media outlets followed the April Fool’s tradition of intentionally publishing misleading stories, which would be unheard of in many countries. It has continued in Scandinavia but was more popular before the advent of social media, which allows anyone to try to fool readers. One local comedian did manage on Friday to trick some followers into believing that she’d been chosen to host a serious and highly popular debate program on state broadcaster NRK1 every evening.

newsinenglish.no staff