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Frustrated Reporter Quits After Slow News Day 178

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-this-job-and-shove-it dept.
Norwegian radio journalist Pia Beathe Pedersen quit on the air complaining that her bosses were making her read news on a day when "nothing important has happened." Pedersen claimed that broadcaster NRK put too much pressure on the staff and that she "wanted to be able to eat properly again and be able to breathe," during her nearly two-minute on-air resignation.
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Frustrated Reporter Quits After Slow News Day

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  • by camperdave (969942) on Monday September 13, 2010 @11:03AM (#33561254) Journal
    Seems to be a slow news day here as well
  • FTA: NRK spokesman Oeyvind Werner Oefsti says Pedersen's actions were a surprise.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well naturally - after all, if they knew something _that_ interesting was going to happen, they would have had it on her teleprompter instead of the fluff bits they were filling time with.
    • Must have been a slow news day for the article author.
  • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Monday September 13, 2010 @11:04AM (#33561282)
    Slashdot hires Norwegian radio journalist as story aggregator.
  • Doesn't stop slashdot from posting
  • Ok, not really, even no news on slashdot is better than what they call news on some of those other sites. Seriously, credit to the Pia for making the point that saying nothing is better than just talking when you have nothing to say. Where was I again, yes, rambling on

  • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Monday September 13, 2010 @11:06AM (#33561308)

    There's plenty of out-of-work journalists available to fill your spot. Immediately. Better. And for less money.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Funemployment!

    • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Monday September 13, 2010 @11:21AM (#33561508) Journal
      I wish there were a way that we could take actors, news-people, and sports figures with good gigs who insist on complaining, and have them work at a real job for a couple of years. Take anything you see on the show 'Dirty Jobs' and have them do that for a couple years. Then tell them if they insist on telling the world how hard they have it once back at their easy job, permanently install them in the real world with the rest of us.
      • by thijsh (910751)
        Yeah, I would love to see her shoveling manure in a confined space, maybe then she'll be able to breathe... metaphorically of course.
      • by Hatta (162192) on Monday September 13, 2010 @11:58AM (#33561872) Journal

        Actors, newscasters, athletes, they don't really need to know what real life is like. Lets take the Senate and make them work the fishing boats and oil rigs. It might give them some perspective. Shit, my Senator even admitted to never having used an ATM [cbsnews.com]. These are people who would really benefit from seeing things from the other side.

        • Well of course none of them have real-world experience. You can't run for office and hold a working-person's job, so all high-level politicians are in semi-self-employed positions (lawyers, well-off small-business owners, existing politician in another office) or retired.

          And if a working person decides to become a politician, working his way up from office to office, he's called a career politician and scoured at. Heaven forbid he try to keep his job as long as the public will elect him, as the term-limit

      • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday September 13, 2010 @12:01PM (#33561918) Homepage

        I wish there were a way that we could take actors, news-people, and sports figures with good gigs who insist on complaining, and have them work at a real job for a couple of years. Take anything you see on the show 'Dirty Jobs' and have them do that for a couple years. Then tell them if they insist on telling the world how hard they have it once back at their easy job, permanently install them in the real world with the rest of us.

        Except that they're already in the real world with the rest of us.

        It's all relative.

        Sure, I can sit here and watch Myth Busters and think that's the greatest job in the world... But I bet they have shitty days too. I bet they've got folks on staff that they can't stand working with. I bet they've got bosses telling them to do stupid things. I bet they have days when they really don't want to wake up and go in to work. I bet they have days when they just can't wait to get home and relax. I bet there's stretches where they don't know if they'll be doing another season, and don't know if they're going to have a reliable paycheck.

        Just because you aren't sweating and getting dirty doesn't mean you've got it easy. Just because you are sweating and getting dirty doesn't mean you've got it hard.

        • Yeah, but they still get to blow shit up on purpose. That makes up for a *LOT* :-)

          and don't know if they're going to have a reliable paycheck.

          They've been fairly successful by this point. If they invested their money in even conservative things by now they shouldn't have to worry about that.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          Just because you are sweating and getting dirty doesn't mean you've got it hard

          That's what she said. Um.. hold on..

        • by am 2k (217885)

          Sure, I can sit here and watch Myth Busters and think that's the greatest job in the world... But I bet they have shitty days too. I bet they've got folks on staff that they can't stand working with. I bet they've got bosses telling them to do stupid things. I bet they have days when they really don't want to wake up and go in to work. I bet they have days when they just can't wait to get home and relax. I bet there's stretches where they don't know if they'll be doing another season, and don't know if they're going to have a reliable paycheck.

          There are days when I think like you do, but most of them I think I'm just trying to convince myself of that so that I feel less shitty. I believe there are really people out there that do enjoy their job, that do enjoy having lots of cash to spend for minimal work, that do enjoy having free time so they can do some hobby projects.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Dirty Jobs?
        Bahh.
        Make them do telephone tech support for a year.
        And lets be honest it is Norway. There probably wasn't anything happening.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by horza (87255)

        Sorry, please define a "real job". Are non-crappy jobs not real jobs??

        Phillip.

      • What you're really saying is people who make large salaries commiserate with the income they generate for their employers should STFU and be happy they aren't getting middle class wages or doing working class labor. But, they aren't. Actors make millions because they generate millions. Athletes make millions because they generate BILLIONS. Appreciate them for their talent. And, if you think it's so easy, then by all means try to take one of their cushy jobs from them.

        • by Itninja (937614)
          Based on the typical self-destructive lifestyle that is constant companion to most movie stars and famous athletes, I imagine that commiseration with their income is not at all uncommon. For some the only real friend they have is their income.
        • The movie or play the actor is in generates the money. The team the player plays on generates the money. There are very few actors or athletes that aren't replaceable. For every actor or athlete that is discovered, there are usually several others just as capable that slipped through the cracks. Just like artists. In the end, it is just the luck of the draw who makes it through. Some times I admit, it is how well people promote themselves. Regardless, except for the very rare Tiger Woods out there, few of t
      • by westlake (615356)

        I wish there were a way that we could take actors, news-people, and sports figures with good gigs who insist on complaining, and have them work at a real job for a couple of years.

        Shouldn't the same standard be applied to the Slashdot poster?

        Whose median income - or at least his expectations - are rather high.

        All jobs look easy when you don't have to them.

        Particularly when the pay is better than yours.

    • by Zeek40 (1017978)
      Are there any employed journalists any more? I haven't read or viewed anything that I would qualify as "journalism" in a very long time.
    • by Klinky (636952) on Monday September 13, 2010 @12:04PM (#33561956)

      The day someone can't quit their job because of the working conditions aren't as bad as someone else's job is the day we all become slaves. Ever quit a really shitty job in the USA? Well you're a pussy, you should go clean 3rd world sewers in India while stuck in a repressive caste system with no chance of ever doing something meaningful or maybe you can go build iPods for 16 hours a day in China. That would teach you to respect that burger flipping job or mind numbing office work...

      If we're going to race ourselves to the bottom like that then no one should ever quit their job because they are unhappy with it. The warm thoughts that someone has it a hundred times worse than you should be all the motivation you ever need.

    • Immediately - Yes
      Less money - Yes
      Better - Debatable ....

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blair1q (305137)

      Really?

      IMO journalists have become entirely oblivious to what they're reporting, and just cut and paste into the format.

      Case in point: this submission, which was pretty much drag-and-dropped into the /. submission box.

    • by IrquiM (471313)
      There aren't any unemployed people in Norway - we just give them sick pay instead!
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      She realized she didn't have a face for radio?
    • ...she was 'quitting and walking away' because she 'wanted to be able to eat properly again and be able to breathe'.

      ...the woman with the beer and cigarettes in the photograph said.

      (Giving her the benefit of a doubt, maybe quitting her job will ease her stress and allow her to quit smoking as well, in which case it would be literally true instead of ironic.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2010 @11:19AM (#33561482)

    and learn how to make the right headline for her non-stories:

    "Could journalist's resignation mean the death of traditional news media?"

    Her summary could then include several irrelevant opinions and speculations about Linux on the desktop, the unquestionably evil M$, and various private corporations and gov't agencies plotting to steal our rights. Throw in an opening for robotic overlord/insensitive clod/Netcraft/???...Profit! jokes and bask in the glow of nerd worship!

    Only downside, it's kinda hard to breathe and eat properly when you never leave the basement.

  • Life goes on. It's as if we were supposed to lament a journalist quitting?
  • by Notquitecajun (1073646) on Monday September 13, 2010 @11:25AM (#33561546)
    This one is labeled "story." About a journalist quitting because she can't find any.
  • A good reporter is proactive. She should have made up some news.

  • by R_Growler (84235) on Monday September 13, 2010 @11:31AM (#33561622)

    According to her, and the workers unions, NRK is screwing and abusing their temp workers (which she was) royally.
    In Norway the law says that if you are a temp for 4 years you will be granted the benefits and protection of a regular employee. NRK (which is government owned and run) will let a temp work for *almost* 4 years then leave them high and dry.
    Before your four years are up they will not let you have any say in any matters, expect you to work un"bob"like hours, and keep your mouth shut while not on the air. She basically just had enough and gained a lot of sympathy for it in Norway, where the workers unions have been complaining about these practices by our state owned broadcaster for years.

    But rebelling on the air.. Well, ballsy, but not the brightest of moves.

    -RG.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bright enough to gain a lot of public sympathy. Surely that's worth something.

      How is it not bright? What are the negative consequences for her? Will her former employer sue her?

      Is rebellion in the air?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mdielmann (514750)

        I think his response wasn't so much about the actions of her former employer, but the caution potential future employers might exercise when considering her for employment.

        • You mean the employers that screw their employees out of a fair deal whilst skirting the edge of the law? Is that really a bad thing?
          • by mdielmann (514750)

            I can only assume that your opinion of her former employee is based on hopeless optimism, which I can appreciate. Of course, I don't think even generally good companies are interested in the prospect of negative publicity when the potential benefit is so small. I hear that is important for companies where public perception is king.

      • by arth1 (260657) on Monday September 13, 2010 @12:22PM (#33562156) Homepage Journal

        What are the negative consequences for her?

        She's pretty much unemployable. She used national radio without permission to vent her frustration with the leadership. Any future prospective employer will keep that track record in mind -- how do they know she won't do similar when employed for them?

        Anyhow, yes, the Norwegian Broadcorping Castration needs to change things -- having more than a third of your permanent work force hired as "temps" and "interns" isn't kosher (or whatever the Norwegian term is -- lutefisk?). But that doesn't make this lady's actions any more palatable; she abused her position and used a publicly funded service for her own purpose.

        Will her former employer sue her?

        As I understand it, her resignation was not legal because public radio broadcast isn't a valid way to deliver one's resignation. So she was fired with prejudice. If I understand this correctly, Norway has two levels of firing someone -- "oppsigelse", which is a regular dismissal, and "avskjed", a "dismissal with prejudice" which can only be done if an employee actively and willfully harms a company. In the latter, the dismissed person loses all termination rights, including leave of notice, termination pay, accrued holidays and private pensions, but the company has to be able to back up the decision in court. Which they undoubtedly can here, as she presented the evidence over the air.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lgw (121541)

          Her job was to entertain her listeners. She entertained her listeners. Where's the harm to her eomployer?

          Maybe it's different in Norway, but in the US there are certainly job prospects for crazy radio personalities.

          • by arth1 (260657)

            Her job was to entertain her listeners.

            As I understand it, her job was to read the news, not entertain.

            Where's the harm to her eomployer?

            She was clearly slandering (is slander considered libel if it's on public radio?) her employer. That's usually considered harm.
            Stealing air time on a real-time syndicated radio station reaching about half the country's population might also be considered harmful. If nothing else, I would think the damage would amount to what a similarly length radio ad to the same amount

            • by lgw (121541)

              As I understand it, her job was to read the news, not entertain.

              Must be a Norway thing - in the States there's no longer any difference.

              She (a) acted disloyal to her employer, and (b) hijacked multiple radio stations for private purposes. Are there really job prospects for someone like that here in the US?

              If I'm remembering correctly, Howard Stern once violantly assaulted his boss live on his radio program, and (as a result of antics like that) he went on to become the world's highest paid radio personality. Crazy is entertaining (when it happens at a safe distance).

        • by cptdondo (59460)

          1. She's cute.
          2. She has an attitude.
          3. She has an audience.
          4. She can come to the US, get a gig on a radio rant show and make good money. She doesn't even have to read the news, just make sh*t up about 'the bad guys'.
          5. Profit!

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Here is a question for you?
      How many hours do they expect you to work?
      How much vacation time?
      How much sick time?

      And if they have been doing this for a while why do people keep working their if it so bad?

      • their? haha you are so wrong im gonna give you a "Expecting adverb but adjective found." compiler error.

        All spelling and grammar errors are intentional. Grammar Nazis' need entertainment.

        oh...shit.

      • by arth1 (260657)

        As I understand it, in Norway the work time is regulated by law, not by individual contracts.

        To the best of my knowledge:

        37.5 hours work week
        Overtime, Sunday and holiday pay is at least 150% of regular pay, and except in extreme circumstances can only be done with the agreement of both the employer and employee. For work days exceeding 10 hours with overtime, a second paid lunch hour and dinner compensation is mandated, and overtime payment goes up to 200%.
        Even salaried people get overtime, unless they hav

        • by anagama (611277)
          Is this all businesses or only those over a certain threshold? I can see pretty adverse unintended consequences of the paid maternity leave for a small business with only three or four workers. If I was in Norway with a business that small, I simply wouldn't hire women because it would be murder to pay someone for a year and get no work from them, particularly when the already small staff wouldn't be able to pick up the slack. Alternatively, I just wouldn't start a small business, which would allow large
          • by amorsen (7485)

            If I was in Norway with a business that small, I simply wouldn't hire women because it would be murder to pay someone for a year and get no work from them,

            You can probably move it to paternity instead, so employing men won't protect you.

            • by anagama (611277)
              Great then. A big win for mega-businesses and monopolies.
              • by amorsen (7485)

                I don't know the system in Norway, but in Denmark all businesses (and public employers) contribute to a joint fund paying for maternity expenses. You can't get out of paying for maternity just because you employ people who won't have any more children.

        • I think these numbers are from the joint union agreement (fellesavtalen). Your rights as granted by law are a little worse, eg. 40 hour weeks and 140% overtime. Still, very good by international standards.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by R_Growler (84235)

        Here is a question for you?
        How many hours do they expect you to work?
        How much vacation time?
        How much sick time?

        And if they have been doing this for a while why do people keep working their if it so bad?

        I don't really know all the numbers and right now I am too lazy to look it up, but here is the gist of it:

        You are expected to to work when they decide they need you, Night and day.
        An ordinary work week is 37,5 hrs a week[1] (by law, yay Norway), but jurnos and tv/radio people are by and large exempt from that. That is, your employer can make you work more, YMMV.
        The pay is good even for temps. Overtime is well paid, but the rules are convoluted and the forms are kinda complicated to fill in correctly[2].
        Vaca

        • by Kjella (173770)

          An ordinary work week is 37,5 hrs a week[1] (by law, yay Norway) (...) [1] I think.. Someone correct me if wrong.

          By law a normal work week can not be more than 40 hours, 37.5 hours is just extremely common. There's many that fall under some form of exemption though.

          As for this case, NRK actually have three classes, employees, temps with fixed assignments and "on call" temps. She was the latter, basically they're the people being shuffled around to fill gaps in the staff with a very unpredictable workload. They're not freelancers, they're still hired but internally they almost are. Extremely unpredictable work load, no

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tixxit (1107127)

      A large store near the University I went to had an agreement with the University student council. They agreed to hire mostly students from the U to work there, but the students could only work for 2 terms (8 months), then they got canned. Most of the time, this was seen as a win-win. Lots of students got some cash and some work experience they could put on a resume and the store got cheap labour. During my time at school though, the student workers "went on strike" over this practice, claiming it was unfair

      • by gknoy (899301)

        If they're going to hire someone for a pre-planned amount of time, they should put that in the employment contract. "You are being hired for X months. At the end of this time, you will either be promoted to something better, or let go". This lets the employee plan for being let go, rather than think that they might have a fair shot at a normal job.

        Of course, the company won't want to do that - they won't think the employee is invested in the company if they're already looking for the next job. (A company

    • by IrquiM (471313)
      Yeah - the real story is how NRK is abusing their temp-workers. But hey, it's not as fun as wanting to be able to eat!
  • by oggiejnr (999258) on Monday September 13, 2010 @11:42AM (#33561712)
    On the 18th April 1930 Listeners to the 6:30pm radio news were informed (paraphrased) "There is no news today, here is some music"

    http://www.historic-newspapers.co.uk/Old-Newspapers/1930-Newspapers [historic-n...pers.co.uk]

  • by nomadic (141991)
    "She wanted to be able to eat properly again and breathe"? This is Norway, were they working her at a unconscionable 40 hours a week? Only a month of vacation?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SirWhoopass (108232)

      We used a Norwegian contractor for some work at our facility in the US. The guys that came over here were hard workers. One went so far as to check out of his hotel and sleep in the office (we thought that was taking it a bit too far).

      The French contractor... they didn't even bother with asking for keys to the building. They just arrived late and went home before we did.

  • sounds like NHK needs to read blogs on air daily.

  • Looks like "deploying the slide" will be a thing after all. Employers everywhere, beware!

  • That's what we have here. If she's not happy with her job, find another one. I'm sick and tired of dealing with people who have this sort of attitude. I'll go into stores and routinely encounter jerks moping around, rude, inattentive and apparently upset. Like that ass flight attendant who made that scene. What I find ridiculous is that there are idiots out there who have glorified what this jerk has done.

    I've worked with quite a few people over the years who hated where they worked. It's not that it was th

    • Can only speak for the States, but I think the answer you are looking for is health insurance. Plenty of people are trapped in jobs they hate because they can't afford to spend 3 months without it or even worse, they don't want themselves or a loved one denied future coverage.

      Nothing as disheartening as turning down a nice job offer because your wife would have to go without insulin.

    • Six paragraphs about self-centered whiners. Interesting.

      From personal experience everything I've encountered in the States pales in comparison to my work experience in Asia.

      Of course. Didn't see that coming. No siree.

    • You're totally different of course, indulging yourself with a 400-word diatribe about those contemptous, bothersome whiners. My experience. Look how I suffered compared to these spoiled brats. I I I, my my my, me me me.

      Humans adapt to their living conditions. Their standards and tolerances adapt as well. Things will only get easier with time, but people will complain just the same.

      What are you moaning about anyway? You're not a war orphan. You don't starve in the street. Entire generations would hav

  • In 34 years we've gone from I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more! [youtube.com] to "I'm bored as hell and I'm not going to take it any more... sigh."
  • There is no such thing as a slow news day to a properly motivated, investigative news team.

    The shenanigans of our state government here in California could fill a 24 hour news program on multiple channels.

    Of course, the "properly motivated, investigative news team" is as mythical as the jabberwock and bandersnatch.

  • Set Time for News (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geoffrobinson (109879) on Monday September 13, 2010 @01:10PM (#33562804) Homepage

    Anytime you have a set amount of time you have to fill or a set amount of time on-air, you'll get a bunch of "news" that isn't newsworthy.

    • Yeah, one of my gripes about the local "news" is that the weatherman wastes 5 minutes looking like an idiot.

  • by istartedi (132515)

    It's all been done [youtube.com]

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