So, I got an email from Dagbladet about last weekend's blog post on their Bullshit Surprise Survey article, which reported that 97% of an unknown number of Norwegians couldn't manage a holiday abroad without taking their mobile phone with them.
I wasn't really sure about how to report the reply as I've read about people getting into trouble for posting email correspondence, but, seen as there was nothing in the email to suggest that the reply should remain confidential and there was no legal proviso either, here it is verbatim:
Thank you for your information.
I would like to inform you that the article was only a short story that was written in a certain number of lines to a certain newspaper page.
That is how it works in a printed newspaper and has always worked. There is no way there could be more space for a short story. The next section of the pages are Sport.
The main travel story of that day was 3 pages about Xmas shopping around the world.
Dagbladet is a tabloid newspaper where pictures are part of the story. It has always been the case that newspaper prints a mixture of short and long stories. That is how the newspaper always have been made.
I can definitely see your point about having included how many respondents (around 1000 it is always the same number in Respons Analyse). (we had a graphics chart that had to be left out at the end).
But I cannot see your point about advertising. Ticket sells all kind of travels, Star Tour sells only ther own chartertravels. So in that case it is more of a competition, in my opinion.
I'm not sure that mentioning two companies the article creates any competition, or 'balance', which what's suggested; it just means providing PR for two companies instead of one.
The 'not enough' space is a curious defence as the article is accompanied by a a picture of a person carrying a giant mobile telephone beach lilo, which is takes up more space on the page than the actual text, but at least they're willing to concede that they should have given some more information to put the percentage figures in context. That, I guess, is progress.