(Editor's note: An earlier version of this story, based on international media coverage, incorrectly stated that Saellmann was fired and that the moves were based on complaints by Muslims. The correction comes courtesy of the Norwegian Christian newspaper Dagen.)

OSLO, November 20, 2013 ( – A well-known Norwegian anchorwoman has been ordered not to wear a necklace with a tiny cross while reading the news on air. The order reportedly came after the station received complaints. 

Norway's English language news service The Local reported that after Siv Kristin Saellmann wore her discreet gold cross several times last month, Anders Sårheim, the regional editor instructed her not to wear the Christian symbol in future.

Sårheim told the Norwegian newspaper Vårt Land that he was simply following the state broadcaster's dress code.

“NRK has a clear policy that news anchors should be dressed neutrally, and we encourage them to avoid the use of jewellery with religious and political significance,” he said.

Saellmann acquiesced to the demand to remove her cross, but she told The Local, “What I don't like is that people out there can just call in and tell my boss what I should and I shouldn't wear.

“I didn't wear the cross because I wanted to be provocative,” she said. “I am a Christian, but right now I see the cross everywhere. It's part of the catwalk. It's part of fashion. It's not like only Christians wear the symbol. I didn't think that people would react.”

Journalist and commentator Sven Egil Omdahl said the question is not whether it is appropriate to have dress policies and rules, but rather whether they are enforced too strictly in not allowing a newscaster to wear a small cross while on the air.

Banning the cross is like “shooting sparrows with a cannon,” Omdahl commented in a NRK report. “It is over zealous interpretation of the rules.” 

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Contact info:

NRK TV – Oslo

Hans-Tore Bjerkaas, Director General

Bj. Bjørnsons Plass 1

PB 8500, Majorstuen, 0340 Oslo

Phone: 23 04 70 00

Email: [email protected]


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