Fritt Ord Foundation grants awarded to 10 seasoned critics

May 22 2015

The Fritt Ord Foundation has now awarded the first 10 grants for critics in the amount of NOK 200 000 each. “We received no fewer than 58 applications, far more than we had expected. Many of the applicants are extremely well qualified”, reports Georg Fr. Rieber-Mohn, Chair of the Fritt Ord Foundation Board.

The 10 critics to be awarded a one-year grant are: Therese Bjørneboe, Oslo (dramatic art), Gustav Svihus Borgersen, Trondheim (pictorial art), Gaute Brochmann, Kabelvåg/Oslo (architecture), Ulrik Eriksen, Oslo (film), Marius Emanuelsen, Oslo (music and popular culture), Anki Gerhardsen, Bodø (dramatic art and pictorial art), Kaja Schjerven Mollerin, Oslo (fiction), Gro Jørstad Nilsen, Bergen (non-fiction and textbooks), Silje Marie Stavrum Norevik, Bergen (fiction) and Erle Marie Sørheim, Berlin/Skjetten (fiction and comic strips).

“We aspire to stimulate and invigorate criticism as an inextricable part of Norwegian journalism,” comments the Fritt Ord Foundation’s Executive Director Knut Olav Åmås.

Strong pressure is being exerted on the media’s reviews of art and culture. Parallel to the high level of cultural creation and cultural interest in Norway, we have noted that criticism is stagnating or being cut back.

The Fritt Ord Foundation has given priority to critics who deliver reviews to daily and weekly media. Two of the critics primarily write for Dagbladet, two for Bergens Tidende, two for Klassekampen, two for Morgenbladet, one for Adresseavisen and one for Avisa Nordland. Several of the grant recipients also write for a number of journals. The scheme has a framework of MNOK 6 and will run for three years, with a new deadline for applications once a year.

Good reviews communicate and engage; they are borne of expertise and knowledge, thus strengthening access to information and society-at-large. At the same time, criticism as a genre needs to develop and to be revitalised to reach more media users. The new grant scheme is just one of several initiatives being taken by the Fritt Ord Foundation to promote criticism and journalism in Norway. The Foundation recently set aside an additional MNOK 30 to strengthen journalism in several areas.

For more information, please contact: Fritt Ord Foundation Executive Director Knut Olav Åmås, mobile +47 908 68 139, Telephone +47 23 01 46 41.