Censorship on the agenda

March 1 2016

The Fritt Ord Foundation’s Competition for Upper Secondary Schools is in the process of being launched. The Fritt Ord Foundation hopes to contribute to carving out a stronger position for discussions of freedom of expression and issues of democracy in Norwegian classrooms. What is the status of freedom of expression in schools for students and teachers when it comes to sensitive topics?

“This year’s topic is censorship in all its variations, both direct and indirect. The censorship and self-censorship we do not notice and which is the most difficult to see, may possibly be among the most interesting types of censorship to discuss. Some of them are linked to the consequences of threats of terror, others to more or less hidden opportunities that digitisation offers for surveillance, control and limitations on utterances – in addition to the fantastic opportunities it creates”, comments Knut Olav Åmås, executive director of the Fritt Ord Foundation.

The Fritt Ord Foundation competition for upper secondary schools is being launched with “censorship” as the topic for the upcoming school year. The topic is a timely reminder that censorship is by no means dead. Pupils are invited to submit texts and media productions that explore and address censorship in different forms. Topics can be chosen from the past or the present, and the focus can be local, from Norway or international. Pupils are encouraged to use specific situations as their point of departure.

“Often, we need not look very far to find issues that are appropriate for debates on censorship and freedom of expression. Having said that, we are, of course, also interested in analyses of situations in countries in which freedom of expression is in a more difficult position than it is in Norway”, comments Knut Olav Åmås.

Pupils can participate on their own or as part of classroom activities. They can work individually or in groups, and they are invited to submit entries in different genres: Audio, video or online productions, essays or articles.

The deadline for entries is Monday, 1 March 2016. See: www.frittordkonkurransen.no

First prize is a grant for NOK 20 000, second prize for NOK 15 000 and third prize for NOK 10 000. In addition, the prize laureates will win a study tour to Strasbourg, where they will visit the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the EU Parliament.

The Fritt Ord Foundation Competition for Upper Secondary School is an annual competition that invites students to submit entries about freedom of expression and democracy. A special topic is assigned each year, and participants’ entries can be submitted either in the form of a text or a media production. The Fritt Ord Foundation organises seminars for teachers and offers school visits and supervision for participants.

Contact:
Joakim Lie, project director for the Fritt Ord Youth Competitio.
Email: joakim.lie@frittord.no
Mobile phone: +47 915 60 770

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