Which media do we trust?

June 18 2018

​Fritt Ord and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism invite the public to the launch of the annual media survey entitled the Reuters Institute Digital News Report and a debate on confidence in the media, on Monday, 18 June from 5 – 6.30 p.m. at Fritt Ord’s premises at Uranienborgveien 2.

The Reuters Institute Digital News Report is the world’s largest media survey on trends in digital media habits. Norway was included in the survey for the first time in 2016, and the report compares the development of Norwegian media markets with those in 36 other countries in America, Europe and Asia.

This year’s report addresses topics such as readers’ confidence in established and alternative media, the politicisation of the news and the skewed willingness to pay observed among the general public. One paradox in this year’s figures is that political preferences clearly have an impact on which media are considered reliable. This tendency is more pronounced in countries with a strongly polarised media landscape, such as the U.S. and the U.K., but the trend is also apparent in Norway.

Conducted by researchers from the University of Bergen, the Norwegian partial survey indicates that most people have strong confidence in the news, and they rated Norway’s National Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) as their most reliable source of news. Meanwhile, there are significant differences in how reliable people rate the different news providers as being, largely dependent on where people find themselves on the political continuum.

Confidence is also related to willingness to pay, both in Norway and abroad. The survey indicates a growing willingness to pay for news and to donate money to media organisations, but this willingness is driven by political conviction. Further, willingness to pay is unevenly divided, based inter alia on income, for print and digital media alike. In Norway, it is people with high incomes who buy printed newspapers and, as time has passed, this group also pays for news in digital format. What will this mean for Norway’s egalitarian press system? To what extent is the imbalance in which media one reads, and trusts, a democratic problem?

Welcome by Knut Olav Åmås, Executive Director of Fritt Ord

Presentation of the report by Richard Fletcher, researcher at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Panel discussion, featuring:
Hallvard Moe, professor of Media Studies at the University of Bergen and the person in charge of the Norwegian sub-report
Heidi Taksdal Skjeseth, former U.S. correspondent for Dagsavisen and recipient of the Fritt Ord Foundation’s Oxford grant to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, where she wrote about how right-wing populists in the U.S. and Europe use the media.
Hans Rustad, editor of Document.no
Gard Michalsen, editor of Medier24

Moderator: Kjersti Løken Stavrum

The panel discussion will take place in Norwegian. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Welcome! Follow the event on Facebook for more information.

  • The Reuters Institute Digital News Report for 2018 can be downloaded here.
  • The Norwegian partial survey can be downloaded here.. NB: in Norwegian only.