According to figures from 2008, an average Norwegian spends 2 hours and 22 minutes in front of the television screen on an average day. 1 hour and 20 minutes is used for radio listening, 49 minutes for print media (out of 27 minutes newspaper reading). The internet is used for 1 hour and 5 minutes on an average day.
The major change in the media image in recent times has been the rise of the Internet. While 7 percent of the population used the Internet on an average day in 1997, the proportion was 66 percent in 2007. The Internet has set a new agenda for mass media in Norway and affects all other types of media.
There are approx. 220 news newspapers with publication at least once a week in Norway. The total circulation is close to three million, of which the two nationwide loose-selling newspapers and regional newspapers in the big cities account for just over one million.
The biggest newspapers in Norway are:
|Edition 2008||Readership 2008|
|World Gang (VG), Oslo||284 414||1 135 000|
|Evening post (tomorrow), Oslo||247 556||735 000|
|Evening post (evening), Oslo||124 807||360 000|
|Dagbladet, Oslo||123 383||600 000|
|Bergens Tidende||85 825||250 000|
|Today’s Business, Oslo||82 775||305 000|
|Adresseavisen, Trondheim||77 044||225 000|
|Stavanger Aftenblad||66 343||180 000|
|Fatherland friend, Kristiansand||40 729||117 000|
|The Journal of the Drama||39 121||108 000|
The first newspaper published in Norway was Norwegian Intelligenz-Banknotes in 1763. Before that, occasional flyers and handwritten news releases were published. Then followed newspaper establishments in Bergen (1765), Trondheim (1767) and Kristiansand (1790). These were so-called ” address newspapers “, which were mainly based on newspaper events, and were published once a week. In addition, in the early 1800’s, a number of weekly magazines with political and philosophical content were published. The first local magazine was Norsk Landboblad, started by Sivert Aarflot at Ekset in Sunnmøre in 1811. The modern newspaper form was introduced by Niels Wulfsberg, when in Oslo in 1815 he began publishing The Norwegian National Journal. Here ads and material were fairly evenly distributed. In 1819 Wulfsberg founded Morgenbladet, which was the first Norwegian daily newspaper.
From the 1830’s there was a lush newspaper flora in a number of cities. This was due to, among other things, the new Craft Act, which was passed in 1839. The old printing press privileges were put into effect, and newly established printing companies found it profitable to publish a newspaper as a sidebar. The material consisted of news and articles taken from the capital newspapers. Christiansands-Posten was one of the first newspapers that deliberately tried to make the local press more alive. It also introduced the editorial and increased the format from quarter to large folio format.
The actual turnaround in Norwegian newspaper production came only in the second half of the 19th century with the introduction of new technical aids. Aftenposten (edited by Amandus Schibsted 1879–1913) was a pioneer of new journalism. The newspaper, which appealed to the more unpolitical petty bourgeoisie, focused on small ads and ran active, outreach reporting.
Political life was activated by the rise of party organizations. With Left’s march came Dagbladet (Radical, founded in 1869 by Hagbard Berner), World Gang (radical, later moderate, edited by Ola Thommessen 1878-1910) and Stavanger Aftenblad (Moderate Christian, founded in 1893 by Lars Oftedal de). In the same time period a.k.a. Bergens Tidende, Tønsbergs Blad, Varden, Fædrelandsvennen, Lofotposten and Sunnmørsposten.
The young political labor movement got its own press, first with Our Work (founded in 1884 by Chr. Holtermann Knudsen). The newspaper changed its name in 1886 to the Social Democrat, 1924 to Arbeiderbladet (Dagsavisen from 1997). Gradually, the labor movement established newspapers all over the country, and in Northern Norway and in industrial locations in Eastern Norway they have maintained a strong position. The historical development otherwise made the Norwegian daily press a nuanced medium for widely differing interests: party political, business political, religious and linguistic politics.
During the German occupation, the Norwegian press became completely unified under German censorship. According to an overview compiled by the Norwegian Press Federation, a total of 130 Norwegian press people were imprisoned. Of these, five were executed and 14 died in German concentration camps.
The illegal press continued the fight, but with great losses. The Norwegian Blade Owners Association had on April 9, 1940 200 newspapers as members. Of these, 91 were stopped, while 16 were forced to merge with other newspapers at the publishing site. Only three newspapers were refused to come back after the war. A right of honor for the press, consisting of two lawyers and a press officer, examined the attitude of the active press people during the occupation. The result was that 33 press employees were considered to have shown an international attitude and were excluded from the press for a shorter or longer period.
The technical development has strongly influenced the Norwegian press. Since Rana Blad was the first Norwegian newspaper to introduce a photo kit in 1965, the conventional lead rate method has completely had to give way to modern batch systems and offset printing. The newspaper format has also changed character, and all newspapers have now switched to tabloid format, half of the full format that was previously the usual.
The new technical possibilities have resulted in increased use of images, colors and other typographic instruments in the newspapers. In terms of substance, newspapers have to some extent approached the television and the weekly press, with an emphasis on personal focus and more popular material. In the mid-1990’s, service journalism became widely used in both tabloid and subscription newspapers. This type of journalism was aimed primarily at readers as consumers of goods and services.
In the 1990’s, two new types of newspapers emerged: Sunday newspapers and free newspapers. Dagbladet started Sunday newspaper in 1991, and was quickly followed by the other major national and regional newspapers. Several local newspapers also publish Sunday newspapers. In addition, a number of free newspapers have been established, which base their earnings solely on advertising.
Electronic communication methods have become commonplace, primarily via the Internet. Most newspapers have their own online edition, in addition to a printed edition. Separate online newspapers have also been established. The content of the online newspapers is offered for free, and this has become a major challenge for the circulation of the paper newspapers. From the mid-2000’s, a number of newspapers have experienced a decline in circulation, most affected by the loose-selling newspapers.
Both local and national newspapers were traditionally associated with a party or political direction. The ties between party and newspapers gradually loosened from the 1970’s. Today, there are no party newspapers, and in several cities former political competitors have merged into local monopoly newspapers.
Three major media groups are currently dominant in newspaper Norway: Schibsted ASA, A-pressen ASA and Edda Media AS.
Despite structural changes, Norway has been affected by newspaper deaths to a lesser extent than other countries. This can be explained by the fact that from 1969 one has had a government newspaper support, the press support.
The magazine and weekly press consists of approx. 75 publications with a total annual circulation of just under 90 million. The largest magazines and magazines are:
|See and hear||214 104|
|The home||193 936|
|Watch and Listen (weekend)||164 782|
|Here and now||146 964|
|The family||118 809|
|Norsk Ukeblad||111 462|
Norway has had a very rich weekly leaf flora. The genre was launched in Norway by Skilling-Magazin (1835–91), which aimed to work for the dissemination of public benefit knowledge. At the same time, the magazine became a pioneer for the new illustrative technique, which came to strongly influence the weekly press; woodcut, later steel cut. The public education program was continued, among other things. by Johan Christian Johnsen (Almuevennen), Jacob Breda Bull (Folkebladet) and last by Nils Johan Rud, who focused on Norwegian fiction in the Magazine For All (started in 1927 under the name Arbeidermagasinet, entered 1970).
Since the end of the 19th century, the weekly press has been dominated by the popular family magazines (Allers, Hjemmet, Norsk Ukeblad, etc.), as well as special bodies for eg. Woman and Home (Urd, All Women’s Sheets, Women and Clothing). Since the 1970’s, the magazines that focus on current celebrity reports (primarily See and Listen and Here and Now) have shown strong growth. All the major weekly magazines have significant elements of celebrity.
A major trend in the periodical press in recent years has been specialization. More and more bodies that address readers with special interests have been established in Norway. In the 2000’s, new magazines are also being launched, many of which have had a short life.
The Norwegian trade press association comprises approx. 240 leaves. Most are published by associations and organizations based on internal and external information, others are more independent trade magazines (e.g. financial journals). The trade press ranges widely, from magazines with a circulation of less than 1000 to the magazine Motor with 430 000 – the largest circulation in the Norwegian press.
Since the beginning of the 19th century, a separate branch of the Norwegian press has been the periodicals, both humanistic, political and religious. It started in Bergen in 1778 with Provinzialblade, then followed Hermod in Oslo 1795. Others who may be mentioned: Enjoy Norwegian Journal, The Norwegian National Magazines, Norwegian Maanedsskrift and State Citizen, publications that gave sustenance to the contemporary exchange and innovation.
Contemporary (from 1890) and Syn and Segn (1894) have been viable cultural gathering points right up to our time. Other important journals after the Second World War were Window (1947), Contrast (1965-90) and New Norwegian Journal (1984). Alongside the general journals come the many scientific journals that are published based on various academic environments.
Radio and television
Norway has five national radio channels. In addition, there are a number of local radio stations, as well as various additional channels that are mainly broadcast digitally. The most important Norwegian television channels are NRK’s channels NRK1, NRK2 and NRK3 / NRK Super, further TV 2, TV2 Zebra, TV Norway, FEM, TV 3 and Viasat 4.
National radio channels
Largest television channels
|Percentage of people listening on an average day (2008)||Percentage of people looking at an average day (2008)|
|NRK P3||11%||TV 2||52%|
|Channel 24||14%||TV 3||24%|
|Total radio||97%||TV total||71%|
|(Source: TNS Gallup)|
Televisions from 2009 are no longer broadcast over analog terrestrial networks. The main forms of distribution are digital terrestrial networks, cable television and satellite television.
The first broadcast programs in the Nordic countries were broadcast from a 500 watt transmitter at Tryvannshøgda near Oslo in April 1923. Regular broadcasts came only in February 1925, after the private broadcasting company A / S had been granted a license by the Ministry of Commerce for broadcasting in the Oslo area. The company’s license covered the area within a radius of 150 km around Oslo. The same year, broadcasting stations came up at Rjukan and Notodden, the following year in Fredrikstad. In 1925, Bergen broadcasting company A / S also started its broadcasts. Troms broadcasting company received a license in 1926, Ålesund broadcasting company the following year.
In 1929 a large station (60 kW) was set up at Lambertseter in Oslo, and in the following years there were transmitter stations in Trondheim, Kristiansand, Stavanger and Bodø. It was primarily Oslo and Bergen that ran their own program production during these years. The other broadcasting companies and broadcast stations largely relayed Oslo’s programs, but also took advantage of the opportunity to send some local material.
In January 1933, the Storting decided that all broadcasting activities in the country should go into state operation, and on June 24 of the same year, the Broadcasting Act was passed. According to the law, the Norwegian National Broadcasting Company had the exclusive right to “create and operate stations and facilities for broadcasting oral messages, music, pictures and the like”. This exclusive right, the broadcasting monopoly, has given NRK the absolutely dominant place in Norwegian broadcasting history.
NRK took over the four private broadcasting companies with a total license number of 131,000. The development of long- and medium-wave transmitters continued under the new institution, and towards the end of the 1930’s the national program could be received throughout the country. The first two Norwegian FM broadcasters came into experimental operation in 1954. In the late 1960’s, virtually all inhabited areas were covered by FM transmitters.
The development of Norwegian television started in 1958. The meter waves used for television broadcasting and FM broadcasting are in the same wavelength range, and the development of television and FM radio could thus take place as a joint development.
In the period 1958-70, there was a coordinated parallel development of broadcasting stations for FM radio and television and of radio line systems for telephone, radio and television, where the facilities were combined for several services as far as possible and appropriate. Color television sample broadcasts started in 1972.
At the beginning of the 1980’s, several conditions were in place to soften NRK’s monopoly position. Local radio broadcasts on the FM band could be started without major investments. An increasing number of television viewers, especially in the cities, were connected to cable networks, and at the same time satellite television from abroad was growing rapidly. However, both the telegraph and broadcasting laws prevented the reception of these broadcasts.
In 1981, the Willoch government awarded the first concessions for local radio, local cable television broadcasts and the distribution of television programs from English Satellite Television. The licenses were granted in accordance with an exception provision in the Broadcasting Act. Several licenses were gradually granted, and the trial period lasted until 1988, when the law on local broadcasting came into force. NRK’s broadcast monopoly, which in effect was set aside from 1981, was thus abolished in local form for local broadcasts. A new cable law that was passed in 1988 put an end to the obligation to license satellite television.
However, Norwegian national broadcasting has continued to be the dominant institution in Norwegian broadcasting. The strongest features of NRK’s development in the 1980’s and 1990’s were a large increase in both radio and TV production, and a strong expansion of the district offices, later the number of district offices was reduced.
Radio broadcasting 24 hours a day got underway, and a new nationwide radio channel, Program 2, was officially opened in 1984 after a few years of experimental operation. Later, several other channels have been added, including P 3, and with the introduction of digital radio experiments from the late 1990’s, a number of niche channels have been started.
In the autumn of 1996, a new television channel, NRK2, also started its broadcasts. Television increased its broadcast time and started broadcasting via satellite to Svalbard, Jan Mayen and the oil installations in the North Sea. NRK has been reorganized several times and is now a state corporation. The Storting has retained the right to set the broadcasting fee.
In 2000, NRK’s board of directors adopted a new multi-media organizational model that would separate the broadcasting role and program production. The broadcasting function is separated into a separate unit, NRK Broadcasting, which is responsible for programming all NRK’s radio and television channels. In the autumn of the same year, NRK launched its Internet initiative: the website nrk.no.
Norwegian broadcasting was free of advertising in the period 1940–88. In 1988, the local radios were given the opportunity to broadcast advertising, and with the new television companies TV Norge and TV 2, advertising became an important source of income for Norwegian broadcasting. In the radio sector, advertising funds large local radio chains such as Radio 1 and the nationwide advertising-financed radio channels P4 and Radio Norge (formerly Channel 24. As the leading advertising-financed broadcasters in the country, P 4 and TV 2 have become strong competitors to NRK.
The reason for the Storting’s decision in 1990 to open a new national TV channel was that, among other things, considerable advertising revenues had gone out of the country to TV 3. TV 2 started its broadcasts on September 5, 1992. Already in 1994 the channel went with profits. Since its inception, TV 2 has steadily increased its market share.
In 2009, TV 2’s licensing period expires, and at the same time the transition to digital distribution is complete. This changes the ratio of channels. NRK’s and TV 2’s competitors reach significantly more viewers, and TV 2’s obligations as public broadcasters cease.
In the radio sector, a number of new start-ups occurred after 1982. During the 1980’s several hundred local radio stations were established in Norway, and in 1997 the number was just over 300, later it has dropped to approx. 240. Much of the revenue for these stations comes from advertising.
In 1993, a license was granted to a nationwide advertising-financed radio channel, P4, which has grown to become a significant competitor to NRK. In 2004, the second nationwide radio channel, Channel 24 (from 2008 Radio Norway) started its business.
All advertising-financed channels have a clearer entertainment profile than NRK. TV 2 and TVNorge fill well over half of their broadcast time with programs of an entertaining nature. On the commercial channels, Anglo-American series dominate, while NRK has a larger share of programs from Norway and other countries. NRK, TV 2 (out 2009), P 4 and Radio Norge are required to conduct public broadcasting. It is the Media Authority that checks whether these requirements are met.
In the radio sector, the rise of local radio and, not least, the nationwide advertising channel P 4, and later Channel 24, has contributed to music and light entertainment becoming a dominant program form. NRK has responded to the competition from the advertising-financed channels, including by creating P 3, which focuses specifically on providing music to young listening groups.
The Internet is a mass medium, but also a communication platform. The rise of the Internet has laid the foundation for new business models, new forms of communication and has in a very short time turned down most of the established communication and media structures.
The Internet has become an important sales channel, but on the other hand, has become a rich source of free content, which is a major challenge for established media companies. Attempts with payment schemes have largely failed; instead, the web in the 2000’s has laid the foundation for entirely new forms of cooperation. A variety of services, products and meeting places that emphasize the web as a social medium have emerged.
In 2008, 71 percent of the population used the Internet every day. The most common use is to send or receive e-mail and read news (about 60 percent of Internet users). From 2007 to 2008, the proportion of social networking sites (e.g. Facebook) doubled. In 2008, one in four internet users visited one or more online communities daily.
The largest Norwegian websites in March 2009 were
|Unique users per day|
|VG Nett||1 127 500|
|Yellow Pages||307 400|
|(source: TNS Gallup)|
Not all sites participate in this statistic. For example, the Google search engine and the Facebook community would have been included in this leaderboard.
Organization and management
Journalism education is given at the colleges in Oslo, Volda, Bodø, BI Business School and the University of Stavanger, as well as the private Media College at Gimlekollen. At the University of Bergen and Lillehammer University College, education is given in television production. The Department of Journalism in Fredrikstad conducts a considerable amount of continuing education, and at the same time the Media Companies’ National Association organizes a comprehensive training program for the newspaper’s employees.
The media companies’ Landsforening is the largest employer organization in the Norwegian press. It organizes the vast majority of newspapers, in addition to among other things. television companies and printing companies. Among the employees, the Norwegian Journalist Team is the dominant organization. The Norwegian Editors’ Association is the largest organization among the country’s editors. The Norwegian Press Association (NP) is the trade organization for both employers and employees. The NP will take care of the press’s interests in society, such as the working conditions of the press, freedom of expression and press ethics. The press’s professional selection is one of the most important bodies under the Norwegian Press Association, with the authority to judge media that exhibit poor press ethics.
The most important statutory provision for mass media is Section 100 of the Constitution on freedom of expression, which was revised in 2004. that the State is obliged to facilitate the conditions for an open and informed public conversation – the so-called infrastructure requirement.
The Media Ownership Act authorizes the Media Authority to suspend or set conditions for the acquisition of ownership interests in enterprises that operate daily press, television or radio if the acquirer alone or in collaboration with others has or has a significant ownership position in the media market nationally or regionally, and this is contrary to the purpose of section 1 of the Act. The Media Authority may also suspend or set conditions for cooperation agreements that give a contracting party the same or similar influence over the editorial product as an acquisition.
The Film and Videogram Act provides rules for pre-checking and setting age limits for film and video to be displayed in the industry. This only applies to movies that have a 15-year age limit or lower. After the amendment of Section 100 of the Constitution, film can no longer be banned. The films will still be recorded. The Act also provides rules for labeling and recording of videograms that must be marketed in the industry.
The Broadcasting Act regulates, inter alia, licensing obligation and broadcast advertising. A license is required for broadcast broadcasts in wireless terrestrial broadcast networks. No license is required for cable and satellite broadcasts, but advertising rules etc. also apply to such broadcasts. Political advertising is not allowed on television. However, this provision is challenged by a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in 2008.
The Act applies to broadcasting activities conducted in Norway. Some satellite companies operate in another country. about advertising, then does not apply even if the broadcasts are aimed at Norway.
The most important awards in the Norwegian press are the SKUP Prize and the Great Journalist Prize. The SKUP Prize is awarded each year by the Foundation for Critical and Independent Press. The major journalist award, which in effect replaced the Narvesen Prize that was awarded until 1990, is Norwegian journalism’s highest award and is awarded by the Norwegian Press Association.