Thomas Seltzer is currently working on the series UXA – Thomas Seltzers America. There, he travels back to his first homeland to take the temperature of American society ahead of the November election. He also wants to “check the standing of the American dream”.
In the program’s first episode, you get to know, among others, Seltzer’s relative Tasha, who lives in extremely cramped conditions. She is the daughter of Seltzer’s cousin Kim, who also starred in the episode.
– Our report about Tasha and Mark and their nice children obviously hit right in the heart of many viewers, also in my circle of friends. I received inquiries from Norwegians who wanted to give them a helping hand in their everyday lives constantly on the brink of ruin, Seltzer writes in an e-mail to Dagbladet.
Among other things, it turns out that Tasha “only” needs around 500 dollars to complete a college degree, but she has put her dream on hold because she has to prioritize rent and bills. Her husband Mark is unemployed and takes odd jobs.
At the same time, their son aims to do so well at school that he enters the prestigious university MIT, but to realize it, he is dependent on being awarded a scholarship.
Was deleted quickly
In that regard, with everyone who contacted to help, Seltzer wanted to check the possibility of how to contribute to the family in the United States. He recently posted on Instagram where he asked his followers about the best solution to raise money for the family.
However, such an invitation is very difficult to combine with Seltzer’s role as host and journalist.
Seltzer’s post created a discussion within the editorial office, and was quickly deleted, Dagbladet is informed. The editor-in-chief of NRK Underholdning explains why Seltzer was asked to remove the post.
– This was a response from Thomas’ side to some people’s desire to help the family you meet in the series. We agreed with Thomas that it was best to remove the post because it could be a little unclear what is his role as host, says Eirik Sandberg Ingstad to Dagbladet.
Can break with VVP
Using the position achieved through NRK’s publicly funded publishing platforms as a platform for raising money for one’s own relatives can potentially break several points in the press. Be careful poster, including:
- 2.2 The editor and the individual editorial staff shall protect their independence, integrity and credibility. Avoid dual roles, positions, assignments or ties that may create conflicts of interest or lead to speculation about incapacity.
- 2.4. Editorial staff must not use their position to obtain private benefits, including receiving money, goods or services, which may be perceived as compensation from outsiders for editorial benefits.
Lies down flat
In agreement with NRK Entertainment, Seltzer removed the post. He says he understands why it could be problematic.
– I’m first and foremost a human being, then dad, then bassist, then American patriot, and so the list goes far down to «adult journalist with a flair for press ethics’ wanderings», it is down there with «twerker» and «poet from the interwar period France “, at least intuitively, says Seltzer.
– But joke aside: I obviously see the problem in NRK employees having to conduct public fundraising for self-selected issues, and lie flat. I would rather do a little rolling of the kroner in private, he continues.
“UXA” is Seltzer’s second documentary series from the United States. Four years ago, he made the series “In Hillary and Donald’s backyard”, where he wanted to show Norwegian viewers why Trump could become the next president of the United States, something many found unlikely in 2016.
In his new series, he embarks on a journey to understand how what was once one of the USA’s and the world‘s most successful areas, now experiences stagnation and decay, writes NRK in the press releases.