Media and the Baneheia case
The Norwegian Press Association and Fritt Ord present a comprehensive report on the media coverage of the Baneheia case.
The report contains three independent studies and analyses, as well as multiple points for discussions in newsrooms and in public discourse.
“We believe it is important to take a critical look at the media coverage of this case through different periods of time. Given that Viggo Kristiansen was acquitted after being wrongly imprisoned for a very long time, the media must conduct a thorough review of their own role. We hope this report will be an important contribution to doing just that," states Elin Floberghagen, secretary general of the Norwegian Press Association.
“Cultivating criticism and self-criticism are prerequisites for the media to be trusted by the public. That is why it is crucial at this juncture to make an internal as well as an external examination of the very special story at the heart of more than 20 years of Baneheia coverage – to learn from it and prevent something similar from happening again," maintains Knut Olav Åmås, executive director of the Fritt Ord Foundation.
The report consists of three main chapters:
• A quantitative content analysis of roughly 3 000 articles across eight media outlets. This was carried out by Retriever, a media analysis agency.
• A survey of relevant media on their coverage, use of sources and editorial assessments. This was carried out by a group of journalists and editors, led by Arne Jensen of the Association of Norwegian Editors.
• A researcher analysis of the media coverage, based on the insights gleaned from chapters 1 and 2, as well as qualitative interviews with members of the press, lawyers and those who supported Viggo Kristiansen. This was performed by Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Social Research.