New website for research on freedom of expression

June 23 2017

This week Fritt Ord is relaunching its website at ytringsfrihet.no. The website features all the major freedom of expression surveys carried out by Fritt Ord, as well as information about events and news items related to new research in this field.

The Foundation is interested in surveying the position of freedom of expression in different areas of society. The formidable research project entitled ‘The status of freedom of expression in Norway’, also known as the Fritt Ord Foundation Monitoring Project, commenced in 2013 and explored the topic in two phases, from 2013 to 2014 and from 2015 to 2017.

The project was carried out by the Institute for Social Research, along with Fafo, TNS Gallup and the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo as partners. The website ytringsfrihet.no is a repository for all research reports and articles related to the project.

The website also hosts other surveys of freedom of expression supported by Fritt Ord, including The Freedom of Expression Barometer, conducted in 2013 by TNS Gallup and commissioned by Fritt Ord and UNESCO’s Norwegian expert group for freedom of expression.

About the Status of Freedom of Expression in Norway

One of the key findings from the Status of Freedom of Expression in Norway’s first project period in 2013-2014, was that the general public draws up normative boundaries for the exercise of freedom of expression, and that many are of the opinion that freedom of expression must be balanced against other considerations, e.g. to avoid hurting or insulting others or to avoid appearing racist. Intentions and attitudes to such self-limitation turned out to vary by gender, age, political point of view, etc. The project resulted in a final general report and in several sub-reports.

The Status of Free Speech in the Public Sphere in Norway 2015-2017 is a continuation of the broad-based study conducted in 2013-2014. In the second term of this project, researchers delved more deeply into the processes by which limits are set for what can and cannot be said in the public sphere in Norway. This project period culminated in the book Boundary Struggles: Contestations of Free Speech in the Norwegian Public Sphere (Cappelen Damm Academic, 2017), which is freely available and can be read here.

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