Over a period of nearly 20 years, Hans Christian Bangsmoen was the Editor in Chief of WW World. With the trust of the management, and help from Executive Editor Einar Christian Erlingsen, they could create a magazine that reflected the organization.
We wanted to create a magazine that had some journalistic material in it, not just an information bulletin from management. I think we managed to do that pretty quickly, says Hans Christian.
“We had a small budget – “make it cheap” we were told – but being trusted and having freedom inspired us and motivated us to work hard anyway.”
The magazine was at first only published in Norwegian, but it didn’t take long before requests for writing in a global language came pouring in.
“At first we only sent out 2-3 magazines to each vessel. It was too expensive to send more than that. Also, there were mostly just two or three people on board the vessels that could read it”, says Hans Christian.
“But I was out visiting vessels and offices from time to time, and I met many international colleagues who wanted to read WW World, but obviously did not understand Norwegian. So from then on, the language of the magazine became very clear to us. We switched to English.”
Hans Christian praises Einar for the job he did, travelling himself or sending journalists out on assignments reporting back to Norway. They met people from all corners of the world and told their stories. When the magazine arrived at the front desk, fresh from the printers, the office celebrated.
“The expectations were high, but WW World obviously fulfilled the mission of having a unifying impact”, says Hans Christian.
The accident in 1989 had a big impact on the editorial staff.
“We knew almost everyone on that plane”, says Einar.
“I also made magazines for Widerøe airlines, who lost five employees.”
But they remember the volunteering spirit after the accident well.
“So much expert knowledge was gone”, Hans Christian remembers.
“However, almost everyone who had retired during the last 5 years here in Norway got called back to work and didn’t hesitate for a second. We also featured pieces about people from the Middle East and elsewhere that helped us fill the vacant positions and move forward. We wanted to tell the story about how we made it through and how each and one of us made a big contribution. I remember we spent a lot of time on the first issue after the accident.”
The two founders appreciate the management’s involvement in developing the magazine.
“To me, Leif Terje Løddesøl has had the greatest influence. He gave me freedom, got involved and showed great interest in the work we were doing. We could interview him any time about any thing and he would stand up for his beliefs”, says Hans Christian.
“I think Ingar Skaug too showed a huge interest in the magazine. Perhaps for one particular reason; he wanted to use it as an organizational tool. He was very conscious of that”, Einar adds.
“Has there ever been any controversy regarding the material that has been printed?”
“We had a case or two where things ended up on print that perhaps should not have. But in general we were never doubted by the management,” says Hans Christian.
“What are the highlights of your WW World careers?”
“Meeting those we call the Heroes of Tampa was terrific. That was probably one of the highlights for me as a journalist”, says Einar.
“I remember the Tampa press conference in Singapore very well. It was the biggest press conference ever held in Singapore at the time. I was nervous as hell because all eyes were on the Tampa Captain and Chief Officer, with journalists ready to create even more tension between us and Norway towards Australia. This was on live television in Australia. But we had rehearsed all night, and our guys were terrific. I was very proud of our efforts”, says Hans Christian.