Fake news forces Norwegian media to drop April Fools Day jokes – to rampant

April FoolsIllustration: April Fools Day jokes

Bergens Tidende drops traditional April Fools’ Day joke for fear of ‘fake news’ stamp.

Bergens Tidende skips the annual April Fools’ Day joke. The debate around false news means that the media house is afraid to gamble with their credibility.

It has been an annual tradition in the press that you have figure out what is the nonsense news on April 1st aimed at deceiving readers, listeners and viewers.

This year it is 67 years since one of the best known April Fools Day jokes was published in Aftenposten, where people were lured to the Wine Monopoly (Vinmonopolet) with empty pails and buckets to obtain wine at rock bottom prices

Abolishes April Fools’ Day

This tradition is now under heavy pressure, and several news media has recently dropped it. Neither NRK News, Dagbladet, Aftenposten nor VG will not publish such jokes anymore.

One of the media to follow the trend is Bergens Tidende.

– We make a lot of cheerful and fun journalism in BT throughout a year, but the requirement is that they must be true. April Fools Day is a fun tradition in the Norwegian press, but in the climate we are now experiencing, with the spreading of false news – it is wrong of us who live of credibility, to deliver false news – just because the calendar says April 1st, says Editor in Bergens Tidende, Øyulf Hjertnes.

Bad timing

Editor Kristin Monstad in Drammen Tidende yesterday reacted likewise.

-The April Fools’ Day is a funny and a little bit weird tradition. But I think we should be careful not to deceive people since credibility is our most important asset. If it’s published in Drammen Tidende, it is the truth, she says.

She says that it is far more important what they do the 364 other days of the year.

– But the timing could not be worse than to come with a half baked joke just now, she says.

– Are the media afraid of shadows and a tad self-indulgent?

– I think we should delight and engage our readers without resorting to April Fools’ Day. Those who have an interest in it will look high and low in other media, but they can not find it in Drammen Tidende year.


Source: nrk.no / Norway Today