The Monthly Moose is a fairly unique endeavor amongst student societies. Not only is it the only publication in English at the University of Oslo (UiO), it is also more or less a publication run solely by international students. I meet two of them in the coffee bar at Georg Sverdrups Hus; Editor in Chief Indigo Trigg-Hauger and Opinion Editor Ruby Lott-Lavigna, on exchange from respectively the Universities of Washington and Leeds.
Faced with the same challenges as newspapers everywhere, they tell me that the Moose have recently moved away from print. Instead of having to struggle with graphic design and the costs (and hassle) of printing, they’d rather save the money (and the planet) by going digital. That way, they find it easier to stay focused on the content.
As one of the few student publications that only exist online, they find themselves at the forefront of the development of student papers in Norway. This allows them a great deal of flexibility. The journalists can write about pretty much whatever they want – which of course is a lot of fun.
But it is also a struggle. Running a paper based on international students that are here for only a semester or two is no easy feat. The editors must continually race against the calendar in order to find writers that can step up as editors, before they themselves must return home. That’s why Indigo and Ruby are working hard to recruit Norwegian students as well. After all, there’s no reason why Norwegians shouldn’t write for an English student paper.
The cure against NorwEnglish
In fact, it could actually be a very valuable experience for many students. Especially those having to write their masters in English (of which there are quite a few). As Ruby puts it “It’s basically English training for free”. Although most Norwegians are more than proficient in everyday English, many could use the extra practice before starting their thesis.
Not to mention how much fun it is. Ruby and Indigo tell me that both of them joined the paper because they wanted to write for a student paper, but ended up staying because of the friendships they made and the joy of being part of something that’s both innovative and consistent. Their latest creation is the column (and hashtag) #thatssonorwegian where they make fun of our seemingly strange customs. It’s a good thing. We Norwegians probably need the fresh perspectives of The Moose to point out how silly we are from time to time.
Link to The Monthly Moose: www.themoose.no