NRK wins cross battle

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Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) was within its rights to refuse to allow one of its news anchors to wear a cross around her neck. The country’s broadcasting council confirmed this week that news presenters must be neutral in matters of religion and politics, and can’t wear jewelry or clothing that suggests anything else.

The issue landed on the  agenda of the council (Kringkastingsrådet) after news anchor Siv Kristin Sællmann was told by her superiors that she shouldn’t wear a cross on the air. That led to reaction from viewers and even the establishment of a Facebook page protesting NRK’s stance that attracted 123,000 supporters.

The council, however, supported news editor Grethe Gynnild Johnsen, who said no TV announcers should wear anything that attracts attention: “We’ve also asked (NRK) folks to take off large earrings because they can be distracting.” The council went further, declaring that journalists’ language, clothing and other adornments should be neutral. staff