Enormous interest in cave drama in Thailand among Norwegians

Royal Thai NavyIn this July 3, 2018, image taken from video provided by the Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page, a Thai boy smiles as Thai Navy SEAL medic help injured children inside a cave in Mae Sai, northern Thailand. The Thai soccer teammates stranded more than a week in the partly flooded cave said they were healthy on a video released Wednesday, as heavy rains forecast for later this week could complicate plans to safely extract them. (Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page via AP)

The case of the football team and their coach who are trapped in a cave in Thailand has raised huge interest here at home. The newspapers report a great deal of readership of the story


‘’These are quite formidable numbers. Individual issues yesterday were read by approximately 1 million people. There is a lot of traffic,and the interest among readers is still very high,’’ said head of the news department at VG newspaper, Trond Olav Skrunes, to NTB news.

Both VG, Dagbladet and NRK have journalists on site, and the case has been awarded top rankings in most of the country’s largest online newspapers.

A number of regional newspapers, including the Bergens Tidende,Stavanger Aftenblad, and Adresseavisen have also chosen to use column space on the story.

‘’This is definitely the most read case. Maybe apart from the football world cup that goes very well when it’s a match day,’’ said Skrunes.

Since June 23rd, twelve boys and their football coach have been trapped in a cave in Thailand after the cave was flooded due to heavy rains. On Sunday, the rescue action began to get them out of the cave, and eight of them are out safely so far.

Drama from reality

VGTV started its live coverage of the case on Sunday, when the rescue operation of the twelve boys and their football coach was initiated.

“Compared with what’s common at this time of year, we see that viewers are very interested. This is the most important issue,” said Ida Aaberg Evensen, a video journalist at VGTV.

Even at Aftenposten newspaper, readers are eager to follow developments.

“We will follow this case closely until it is concluded,” said news manager, Henning Carr Ekroll.

Ekroll compared the case of the confined football team in Thailand with the Peru mining story from 2012, when miners were trapped in a collapsed mine for a week.

He thinks the matter fascinates so many simply because one can follow a drama from reality.

‘’The case is playing out in real time, which causes it to have its own dynamic as a news event. It captures the interest among people to a large extent. It is also difficult to say what the outcome will be,’’ Ekroll said.

Reminds us of a horror movie

It is a stance with which Harald Hornmoen, a professor at the Department of Journalism and Media Day at Oslo Met, is in agreement.Especially that children are involved makes the cave incident catch people’s interest.

“There is a huge drama in this story, which means that although it takes place far away, Norwegians can relate to the incident,” he said.

The case contains both drama and sensation, and looks like an exciting film, Hornmoen believes.

“But there’s a big difference.This is happening in reality.I think everyone hopes that this story will have a happy ending,” he said.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today