The Local reports that a hamster that made news reports across Sweden does not exist.
“How does a hamster make national news?” you ask, in part because it’s a Saturday, and what else are you going to ask?
In an email to a Swedish municipality written under a fictional name, a Swedish journalism student asked the municipality if it would help him get rid of a hamster named “Börje” by turning the hamster into a “public record.”
Got that? You send your excess hamster to become a “public record,” and then it must be taken care of by a government body that maintains public records.
And the municipality says something like, “No thanks.”
And then the story ends up on a news wire, and nobody checks sources, and suddenly, the fictional hamster is ironically in public records across Sweden.
3 Questions That Arise From This Story
1. “A journalism student who does stuff resulting in fake news? Where can I hire that person?” – Fictional Fox News Executive (And We Are Referring To A News Channel For Fictional Foxes Who Prey On Fictional Hamsters – not the Fox News Channel).
2. “What does a hamster have to do to become a public record in Sweden?” – Hamster wearing results of latest Swedish census.
3. “How did Swedish media manage to write a more complicated and less interesting story than IKEA instructions?”- Stick figure from furniture instructions who would rather be in the real news than instructions on how to assemble a newspaper rack.