‘All of Norway was talking’

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Or arguing, as the case may be. An event mounted by state broadcaster NRK and other local media matched Norwegians who vehemently disagreed with one another on topics ranging from transport to wolves, to met face-to-face during the weekend instead of simply in the commentary fields of social media.

The goal was to see what happened with the increasingly heated debate climate when people had to face one another in person, instead of sounding off (often offensively) without having to be identified.

For the most part, the debate became far more civilized. Conversations and confrontations took place in libraries, community centers and in the offices of media including newspapers Morgenbladet and Dagens Næringsliv (DN) and NRK’s own offices around the country. Folks met from Tromsø and Hammerfest in the north to Bergen and Fredrikstad in the south.

“I wanted to understand my opponent and her opinions, and not just reject them as nonsense,” said Steinar Johansen, a conservative urbanite who met an opponent who strongly opposes salting of roads and highways in the winter. That was just one topic among many during the day’s events on Saturday called Hele Norge snakker (All of Norway is talking).

newsinenglish.no staff