Thursday, July 19, 2007

About the price and size of cucumbers

Warning, all links in Norwegian.

"Cucumber journalism" they call it in Norwegian, from the time when the summer temp was sent to the market to check the price and quality of fresh cucumbers. Dag Solstad (video, get an author home), a well known Norwegian author, wrote about how the broccoli was discovered by a summer temp in a local newspaper - on a marketplace in Norway.

This week it seems like the correct contemporary word for cucumber news would be "game journalism." I have had 5 phonecalls from 4 different news media on 5 different takes on games this week.

Some of those were kind of interesting. I may even buy one of the papers to see what they will be writing about political games and propaganda games. Some of the phone calls felt more like I was doing unpaid elementary education, not even in games, but in general social science.

And while we are at that: is a GREAT source for statistics on Norwegian statistics, and they publish "Norsk Mediebarometer", one of the most useful sources I know about on media statistics, including game use in Norway. Did you get that? Statistisk Sentralbyrå, that boring old public institution which has been publishing facts about Norway from 1832 as part of the ministry of finance: Tabellkontoret, and then as an independent public institution since 1876. If you count the start of their work with the first Norwegian Census, that was in 1769.

No, journalists are not stupid, that's not what I am saying. I am just as always baffled by the power of the media threshold: once a topic is used by one large news agent, everybody else need to have their take on it.

Cucumbers, anyone?

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