State support for newspapers in Norway

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State support for newspapers in Norway

Post  MH on Mon 3 Nov 2008 - 5:05

Wales has a limited national press. Most of us get our news from papers that originate in London, which pay very little attention to Wales, or from local papers which pay little attention to what happens in other parts of Wales. In general newspapers in the UK do not receive public funding, except to the extent that some advertising income will be from government and public bodies. If we want to establish distinctively Welsh newspapers we might encourage them to develop by using public money, as is done in Italy and the Scandinavian countries, for example.

Norway might be a good parallel as it has a population of 4.8m, which is not too much larger than Wales. Here is a general overview.


Daily newspapers are considered an essential commodity in Norway, in their contribution not only to the workings of democracy but also to cultural life. In relation to its population, Norway probably has Europe's highest number of dailies, with each town, as well as more sparsely settled districts, provided with a local paper.

In order to sustain such a press structure, Norway has developed a resource-consuming system of public support, in the form of subsidies towards paper, government advertising, direct grants, loan arrangements, and cheaper distribution. Certain newspapers may be receiving annual subsidies of up to NOK 20 million [~£2m]. In addition, the Norwegian daily press is exempt from VAT. It has been calculated that subsidies to the press as a whole account for about 20 per cent of all newspaper income.

http://www.reisenett.no/norway/facts/culture_science/culture_under_int_pressure.html
In more detail, this might be useful:

http://www.robertpicard.net/PDFFiles/subsidiesnordicmodel.pdf

One of the criticisms of state funding or subsidies for newspapers is that it might distort freedom of expression and result in bias to a certain political view. Personally I would have trouble suppressing a slight chuckle considering the blatant political bias of papers in the UK. Nevertheless, for a more objective view about how true that might be, it is interesting to note that Reporters Without Borders, an international body that monitors press freedom in countries across tha world, has consistently rated Norway at the very top of its annual list for press freedom:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reporters_Without_Borders#Worldwide_Press_Freedom_Index_Ranking
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Re: State support for newspapers in Norway

Post  LeeRain on Sat 11 Sep 2010 - 12:25

The subforum thing is my fault. I should've checked that case more thoroughly.
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