I grew up above a Chinese takeaway shop. My parents moved to England from Hong Kong in the late 1970s. They worked downstairs at the takeaway for long hours. I constantly heard the roaring of the chip machine, the humming of the ventilator fans, the clashing of the long-handled spatula against the wok, and the chatter of drunks.
Above the takeaway, we had one table in our apartment’s tiny living room. It was where we ate, where I did my homework, and where I observed a lot of life growing up. Right near our dining table was a mini-TV. We called it the ‘monitor’ because it was also hooked to our security camera that watched over the takeaway shop.
Sometimes I looked at old tapes that were recorded when we were babies. I would see my mother carrying us on her back while she was cooking and scooping chips from the roaring fryer. Some people find this horrifying, but all I saw was my hardworking mother putting a roof above our heads, placing meals on the table and saving up for our education.
This simple four-legged furniture in our living room was more than just a table. It was a place of belonging where family came together. No matter what difficulties we faced, everyone could come to the table, be welcomed and supported.
This is how the name, The Oslo Desk, came about. The symbolic table, where everyone of diverse color, ethnic background and cultural identity can come to the table and find a place of belonging. Where there is mutual understanding, safety to be who we are and space for us to have a voice, so that we cannot only contribute to society but transform it for the better.
If we work together, we can have a collective voice that will show that abundance of cultures means greater wealth – of talents, of flavours, of ideas.
The Oslo Desk envisions a world where everyone － of diverse color, ethnic background and cultural identity will find a place of belonging in their community －where there is mutual understanding, safety to be who they are and space for them to have a voice, so that they cannot only contribute to society but transform it for the better.
Together, as proud world citizens, we are “people who have no fear, speak their heart and mind, and are not closed by conventions but propelled by the greatness of heart and clarity of mind”. – Peter Hoeg
The Oslo Desk (TOD) is a modern and socially-responsible journalism house that produces and publishes content that brings diverse voices into media, covers the blind spots of mainstream media, and facilitate access to information for all backgrounds in Norway so that they can live out their greatest potential in a free and peaceful way. Our journalistic approach sets us apart from other Norwegian media/newsroom, and we can say that we are the first English-speaking newsroom that puts diversity in media, systemic root causes, and constructive journalism in focus.
We accomplish this by:
Acting as a safe place for people of all backgrounds to come forward with their vulnerable experiences for investigation and coverage in the media.
Working with media at large to help them grow by infusing their coverage with diverse stories, promoting integration, understanding and social justice.
Creating practical content and courses so all people can have a voice in society and make informed choices to live a dignified life.
We Pursue Community
We are not driven by advertisers, foreign investors or special interest groups. The Oslo Desk is dictated by the community we serve. So, we promise to invite a broad range of individuals to help shape our creative editorial calendar, to get involved in investigations, and to engage in dialogue on how to take civil action.
We Pursue New Rules
Our editorial calendar is not dictated by breaking news or clickbait opportunities. As your trusted guide dog, we practice creative, constructive and solutions-oriented journalism. We are modern in our approach, sharing human experience through art, photography, video and word. And, we go deep on the untold, unique stories, so that together, we can change systems, not just complain about symptoms. We invite our readers as well to change the rules of the game in their lives too.
We Pursue Collaboration
We cannot transform society into an inclusive, safe place without working together, finding allies and leaning on each other. So, we act as a trusted safe zone where internationals can come forward with their experiences, knowing we will listen and act. We also collaborate with large media outlets to bring untold stories and unique perspectives to the world.