Norway Culture

Norway Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Norway

According to COMMIT4FITNESS.COM, Norway is a country located in Europe. The Norwegian media landscape has changed at an ever faster rate since the beginning of the 2000s. Above all, it is new technology in the IT sector that has fundamentally changed media consumption and the business models that have carried the traditional media.

A big difference compared to the other Nordic countries, however, is that the paid daily newspaper is still strong and that Norwegian media houses from the beginning saw the internet as an opportunity, not as a threat.

Internet and mobile telephony

More than 90% of households have access to the internet in their homes, while the use of the internet via mobile has increased sharply from 2010. More than half of the population is browsing the mobile (2012).

Norway’s geography, with fjords and high mountains, makes it very expensive to cover the entire country with 3G networks. 27% are covered by the 3G network and 87% by the GSM network, but 87% of the population has 3G networks where they live (2012).

There are three mobile operators with their own networks, Telenor, Netcom (owned by TeliaSonera) and Network Norway (owned by Tele 2 Sweden).

Surfing in Norway is no different from the rest of the western world. Global sites like Facebook, YouTube and Google dominate. Two traditional media are among the ten most visited – the newspapers of the World Gang and Dagbladet (2012).

TV and radio

Norway has about 20 nationwide TV channels, of which the three largest are state-owned and license-funded: NRK1, 2 and 3. The fourth largest, TV 2, is wholly owned since 2012 by Danish Egmont who previously shared ownership with the Norwegian A-press. TV 2 is financed entirely with advertising. The others are advertising and / or pay channels and are owned either by Egmont, German ProSiebenSat.1 or Swedish MTG. All are transmitted via cable / satellite or via the digital terrestrial network. The analogue terrestrial network was closed in 2009. In addition, there are 14 local, advertising-financed channels and NRK’s ​​twelve-regional, license-financed channels.

NRK has an extensive business on the internet and as one of the few TV companies in the world, it offers downloading programs with the file sharing protocol BitTorrent. Norway has 13 nationwide radio channels, of which NRK has eleven. NRK broadcasts all channels digitally (DAB). Norway became the first country in the world to end FM broadcasts in 2017.

MTG has the channel P4 and ProSiebenSat.1 owns the channel Radio Norge. NRK also has 16 regional channels. In addition, there are approximately 280 local channels with a number of different owners, all financed with advertising (2017).

Regular radio broadcasts began in 1925. Private advertising-financed radio companies were established in Oslo and Bergen in 1925, in Troms in 1926 and in Ålesund in 1927. The radio was monopolized in 1933 by the Norwegian National Circuit, NRK.

Television was introduced in 1960 without advertising. In the early 1980s, Norwegian radio and television were liberalized through the introduction of local radio (local radio in 1982) and local TV with permission for advertising funding from 1988 and 1991. Satellite TV came in 1988 and national, radio-financed radio was introduced in 1993.


Norway is at the top of the world when it comes to newspaper reading. There are 225 daily newspapers, of which 74 are multi-day newspapers and the rest are daily newspapers with 1-3 issues per week. The total edition was about 2 million (2016).

The first news-oriented newspapers came in the early 19th century. Morgenbladet, founded in Kristiania in 1819 and with its heyday in the late 1800s, was the first daily. During the period 1860–90, many newspapers were especially started. The first popular, affordable daily newspaper was Aftenposten, founded in 1860 by the bookmaker Christian Schibsted.

Party-owned daily press was introduced in Norway at the turn of the century by the labor movement. During the German occupation, more than half of the newspapers were banned, and the rest were censored. The Norwegian Telegram Agency (NTB) and major newspapers such as Aftenposten were controlled by the Nazis.

Loosely sold tabloid magazines began to develop during the 1960s, with the Swedish Expressen as the model when the Schibsted family took over the World Gang in 1963 (VG, founded in 1945 in Oslo). VG’s closest competitor Dagbladet (founded 1869 in Kristiania) was published in tabloid format only in 1983.

Today, the newspaper market is dominated by two groups – Schibsted and Amedia (formerly Apressen). Together, they have just under 60% of the total edition.

Schibsted owns the two largest newspapers, the Aftenposten and the World Gang, both with editions of over 200,000 copies. (2012). The Group has operations in some 25 countries. owner of the newspapers Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet and Blocket, a website for classified ads.

After the acquisition of Edda Media (formerly Orkla Media) in 2012, Amedia’s newspapers have about the same edition as Schibsted. However, Amedia only includes smaller regional and local newspapers. The third largest newspaper, Dagbladet, is privately owned. Major regional newspapers are Bergens Tidende, Adresseavisen in Trondheim and Stavanger Aftenblad. Editions vary from just under 100,000 (Dagbladet) to Stavanger Aftenblad’s just over 60,000 (2012).

All the major newspapers have extensive business on the Internet and are also far ahead in customizing the websites for mobile devices. Norway also has small, local free newspapers but no major Metro like in the other Nordic countries.

The Norwegian daily press stands strong compared to the other Nordic countries, although the total edition has dropped by about 300,000 items. since 2007. A strong regional press and a large state press subsidy are a couple of reasons. The Norwegian daily press was subsidized with the equivalent of SEK 3.8 billion in 2011. Swedish press support for the same year was just under SEK 500 million. A large part of the support goes to rural newspapers, which have very small editions. Only about 30 of Norway’s 225 daily newspapers have an edition of over 20,000 copies. (2016).

It is mainly the major newspapers that have had to rethink their business model when the Internet has taken over many of the services that have been the newspapers’ traditional sources of revenue. But a forward-thinking thinking among the major daily newspapers has meant that they still control advertisements for vehicles, jobs, housing, etc., unlike the other Nordic countries.

Already in 1996, when the internet began to break through, Aftenposten, Bergens Tidende, Stavanger Aftenblad and Fædrelandsvennen feared that the internet would eventually take the revenues from the paper magazine in relation to these headline markets. Instead of defending their traditional business model, they formed an independent company entirely focused on online advertising,, a counterpart to the Swedish Blocket.

Today is owned by Schibsted and Polaris Media but also collaborates with magazines outside the ownership circle. is completely dominant when it comes to heading markets on the internet and is one of the ten most visited websites in Norway.

Weekly press and magazine

The Norwegian weekly and magazine press is dominated by three publishers. Egmont is the largest, with Norway’s largest weekly magazine Hjemmet with a circulation of just over 175,000 items. Aller Media has about 40% of the market. the celebrity magazine Se og Hør with an edition of just over 140,000 copies. Bonnier has about 10% of the market with a dozen specialty magazines such as Bo Bedre and Illustrert Science.

The first weekly newspaper in Norway was Illustrert Familieblad (1887–1971). With models and capital from Denmark, Allers Family-Journal was started in 1898 by Carl Aller and Hjemmet in 1909 by Egmont H. Petersen. With strong emphasis on Norwegian, Norsk Ukeblad was established in 1933 by Ernst G. Mortensen’s publishing house and with spiritual signs Christian Youth in 1939 (since 1959 The Family).

Book and publishing system

Letterpress art first came to Norway in 1643. Politically and economically, Norway was dependent on Denmark. Copenhagen was the spiritual and literary center for both kingdoms. Especially as the printing of larger works required the king’s or other financial support, it was preferably carried out in Denmark. However, Norwegian literature was also printed elsewhere abroad. The oldest Norwegian book – printed in Denmark – is Missale Nidrosiense (1519).

To Kristiania moved in 1643 Copenhagen book printer Tyge Nielssøn (born about 1610, died about 1687). The first work completed by this Norway’s first book printer was an almanac for 1644. A total of seven prints are preserved from Nielssøn’s office. In 1647, Melchior Martzan (died 1654) in Kristiania established a branch for his university printing press in Copenhagen. Only 13 prints from this print shop are known. In 1650 it was sold to the factor Valentin Kuhn (died in 1654). From the years 1643 to 1654, 41 prints have been preserved.

Until 1809, there was only one printing press in the Norwegian capital. In 1812 Christopher Grøndahl (1784-1864) started his own printing press in Kristiania and in 1840 he introduced the printing press in Norway. During the 19th century, printers were founded around the country while a modern publishing system was emerging.

The oldest publisher is Cappelen Forlag A / S. Other significant publishers include Aschehoug & Co. and Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS, which also includes the bookstore chain Ark. Within the Norwegian publishing system there are also Swedish and Danish interests. Bonniers bought Cappelen in 1987. A new publishing group, jointly owned by Bonniers and the Danish media group Egmont, emerged in 2007, when Cappelen merged with the Egmont-owned dam. Leading publisher of literature in New Norwegian is Det Norske Samlaget.

The Norwegian Publishing Association, (established in 1895) has a strong position in Norwegian cultural life. The Publishers Association annually awards the prestigious Brage Prize (corresponding to the Swedish August Prize). The book club market is completely dominated by De norske Bokklubbene AS, with Aschehoug and Gyldendal as the dominant owners. Unlike the other Nordic countries, Norway has maintained a – albeit increasingly open – fixed-price system for new books.

According to the Forlegger Association’s statistics, total book sales in 2012 amounted to 5.5 billion Norwegian kroner and the number of newly issued titles was approximately 7,500.


According to APARENTINGBLOG, Norwegian culture has become internationally known through the artist Edvard Munch (1863–1944), the composer Edvard Grieg (1843–1907), the playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) and Nobel Prize-winning writers such as Sigrid Undset (1882–1949), Knut Hamsun (1859– 1952) and Bjørnstärn Bjørnson (1832-1910).

Notable authors during the 20th century are Agnar Mykle, Johan Borgen, Cora Sandel, Tarjei Vesaas and the Danish-born Aksel Sandemose. At the end of the century came a new generation of successful writers with names such as Dag Solstad and Jan Kjaerstad. Norwegian children’s and youth writers have also achieved international success, the greatest success Jostein Gaarder has made with Sofie’s world.

In the 2000s, Per Petterson and Karl Ove Knausgård belong to the great Norwegian author names. Erlend Lo’s ironically humorous novels have become popular.

Several Norwegian writers have attracted attention, including Anne Holt, Karin Fossum and international bestseller Jo Nesbø.

Liv Ullman has had success both as an actor and as a film director, including with the film Kristin Lavransdotter. Her daughter Linn Ullman has written several notable books, including “Before You Fall Asleep” and “A Blessed Child”.

Norwegian classical music practice has gained much appreciation internationally. A well-known classical soloist is violinist Arve Tellefsen. The young musician and singer Alexander Rybak got an international breakthrough when he won the Eurovision Song Contest with a record score in 2009.

The big name among Norwegian sculptors is Gustav Vigeland. His life’s work is the gigantic sculpture facility in Frogner Park in Oslo.

Norway has distinguished itself for its explorers as polar scientists Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. Thor Heyerdahl’s journey with the Kon-Tiki Balsa fleet from Peru to Polynesia in 1947 fascinated a whole world.



Spy suspected Norwegian is put in Russian detention

December 19

The Russian intelligence service FSB seizes a Norwegian who is suspected of spying on the US CIA and the Norwegian intelligence service. The man is detained for at least two months. The FSB must have seized the Norwegian when he received secretly stamped documents about the Russian fleet from a Russian. The Norwegian is employed by an authority that monitors laws and traffic at the Russian-Norwegian border. Relations between Russia and the Natolanden Norway are usually good, but have deteriorated since the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine 2014.

Fishing stop in the Arctic

December 3

The fishing nations around the Arctic agree to stop all commercial fishing in the Arctic waters for the time being. In line with global warming, fish stocks have decreased in size and fishing hours have begun to take new paths. During the stop, the nations will conduct joint research to find out more about the ecosystems in the area in order to eventually be able to resume fishing. The agreement includes Canada, the EU, China, Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Iceland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Russia and the USA.


Norway sues for oil exploration in the Arctic

November 14

The Norwegian state is sued in a court in Oslo by Greenpeace and Natur og Ungdom for the country in 2016 gave licenses to 13 companies to look for oil in the Barents Sea in the Arctic. The environmental organizations consider that the licenses are in violation of the international climate agreement COP 21 as well as a constitutional supplement from 2014 which states that all Norwegian citizens are entitled to a healthy environment. The Norwegian state’s oil revenues have decreased during the 2000s and production of crude oil has halved since 2001. Among the 13 oil companies are Norwegian Statoil, American Chevron, Swedish Lundin and Russian Lukoil.


Women on the three highest ministerial posts

October 23

Prime Minister Erna Solberg appoints Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide as new Foreign Minister. She is thus replacing her male representative Borge Brende, who will become the senior leader of the World Economic Forum. The change of minister means that Norway now has women in the three highest ministerial posts: Prime Minister, Minister of Finance (Siv Jensen) and Foreign Minister. The new Minister of Defense will be Frank Bakke-Jensen, whose former post as Minister for European Affairs goes to Marit Berger Rosland, a woman.

Norwegian company invests in solar power in Iran

October 17

Norwegian solar energy company Saga Energy signs an agreement with Iranian Amin Energy Developers to invest EUR 2.5 billion in Iran over the next five years. The money will be used to build solar panels in several places in the desert. Norway’s ambassador to Iran, Lars Nordrum, tells media that the agreement shows that Norway takes the disarmament agreement with Iran (JCPOA) seriously. The deal is written just days after US President Trump sharpened the tone against Iran and demanded new sanctions on the country. The Norwegian solar power project is funded by a consortium of European state and private investors as well as a guarantee from the Iranian government.


Police chief sentenced to 21 years in prison

September 18

Eirik Jensen, chief of police responsible for combating organized crime in Oslo, is sentenced to the most severe sentence, 21 years in prison, for receiving bribes between 2004 and 2013 and helping a notorious drug dealer smuggle in a total of 14 tons of cannabis in Norway. The drug smuggler is sentenced to 15 years in prison. He receives a lower penalty as a result of stating Jensen and admitting his own crime. Jensen denies the crime and will appeal the verdict. The court ruled that Jensen received at least NOK 667,800 in bribes.

Civilian Rolling Victory

11 September

In the parliamentary elections, the four bourgeois parties Høyre, the Progress Party, the Venstre and the Christian People’s Party together win 88 of 169 seats against 81 seats for the opposition. However, the opposition Labor Party becomes the largest single party with 27.4 percent of the vote. The second largest is Høyre with 25 percent, while the Progress Party comes third with just over 15 percent. The center party gets just over 10 percent, which means it almost doubles its mandate. Socialist Left also goes up to 6 percent. The Left and Christian People’s Party back slightly to just over 4 percent. The environmental party De Grønne receives just over 3 percent of the vote and retains its only mandate from 2013. The left-wing Red comes into the parliament with 1 mandate by obtaining just over 2 per cent.

The result means that all four parties that have ruled Norway since 2013 are back, as is the largest opposition party. The Center Party and Socialist Left make a good choice.

It also means that Prime Minister Solberg, Høyre, will be the first Conservative prime minister since 1985 to be re-elected. Immediately after the election, Solberg invites Venstre, the Christian People’s Party and the Progress Party to government negotiations.

The economy in focus in the electoral movement

September 7

The electoral movement before the parliamentary elections on September 11 mainly concerns questions about taxes and how the oil fund, which on June 30, 2017 reached a value of $ 1000 billion, should be best used. The Opposition Labor Party has said it aims to abolish two-thirds of the tax cuts implemented by the government since 2013, among other things, the tax should be increased for high-income earners. At the same time, the Labor Party wants to be more restrictive in withdrawing money from the oil fund than the current government has been. As Election Day approaches, it seems to be fairly evenly between the blocs, while the opposition has previously been ahead of the ruling parties in polls. This is probably because the Norwegian economy has improved in recent times, which has benefited the government.


Solberg visits China

April 7

As the first Norwegian prime minister in over a decade, Erna Solberg visits the government in Beijing. It is also the first high political exchange to take place since the diplomatic relations between Norway and China were normalized (see December 2016). During the visit, the two countries enter into a series of trade and cooperation agreements.


“Breivik not inhumanly treated”

March 1st

A court in Oslo, equivalent to the Swedish High Court, renders a lower court ruling that held that the mass murderer Behring Breivik was treated inhumanely by the Norwegian state when he was kept in isolation for a long time. The Court of Appeal in Oslo does not consider that the prisoner has been treated inhumanly or has been subjected to torture-like treatment. The prison where Behring Breivik is located has not made any changes to the handling of the mass murderer since the conviction in the district court. The prisoner is still in an isolation cell for the purpose of preventing him from disseminating information about his Nazi-inspired and violent manifesto to any followers.


The church begins to wed same-sex couples

February 1st

The Evangelical Lutheran Church adopts a new church service that allows priests who want to marry same-sex couples. In the past, pastors within the church have only been allowed to bless gay couples.


Hundreds of US soldiers are deployed

January 17

Three hundred US marines are stationed in Norway for the purpose of strengthening NATO’s defense along the Russian border. The deployment takes place three days before Donald Trump is installed as US President. Trump has called NATO “outrageous” and said that the defense alliance should concentrate on terrorism instead of Moscow.

Norway Culture

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