The Fritt Ord Tribute 2019
Hans Fredrik Dahl

The Fritt Ord Tribute is awarded Hans Fredrik Dahl for his considerable contribution to Norwegian knowledge and social debate.

Reporter and historian Hans Fredrik Dahl (79) has been a prominent figure in Norwegian debates for 50 years. He has been an important publisher, journalist and newspaper editor and, later in his career, media professor. Dahl has published a large number of books.

Hans Fredrik Dahl has often been controversial and his new perspectives on topics such as the Occupation and war history have provoked a great deal of discussion. He has weathered numerous public storms, and has also demonstrated an ability and willingness to change his mind and apologise. As an academic, he has an exceptionally broad range; in addition to war and Occupation history and contemporary Norwegian history, he is one of the country’s foremost contributors to research on Norwegian press and media history.

On the more personal level, he has been a generous adviser and supervisor for members of the press and academics alike, for several generations of students, and for others.

Dahl was among the driving forces in the early years of Pax Publishing House, and he was publishing editor for a whole new genus of political paperbacks in Norway. He has spearheaded a great number of important, intense and difficult debates in the public space through his newspaper work and his many books.

Few have taken advantage of free speech to the extent that he has. In his years as cultural affairs editor at Dagbladet, he was especially visible and active in public media, while his book publications have been his most important medium in more recent years. Both last year and this year, Dahl published new non-fiction books – further testimony to the fact that he is a very prolific writer.

About Hans Fredrik Dahl

Date of birth: 16 October 1939. Dr. philos. 1975. Research fellow NRK 1970–76, cultural affairs editor at Dagbladet, 1978–85. Adjunct Professor in Media and Communications at the University of Oslo from 1988, Professor 1991-2009.

A small selection of Dahl’s book publications: Norway between the wars (1971), What is fascism? (1972), Vidkun Quisling (two volumes, 1991–92). His contributions to Norwegian media history include: NRK’s history in two volumes, Hallo-Hallo! (1975, PhD thesis) and This is London (1978), The Gamble on TV2 (2003, with Rolf Høyer) and The History of the Norwegian Press 1660-2010 (chief editor, four volumes, 2010). Co-editor of the Pax Encyclopaedia (1978–81), Contemporary Norway (1982–84) and Norwegian Encyclopaedia of War (1995), and contributor to Norwegian History of Ideas (volume 5, The Era of the Great Ideologies 1914–1955 (2001), A fair settlement? (2004, co-editor with Øystein Sørensen), From Pax to the Pope (2012), The never-ending war (2017) and A brief history of post-war justice (2018).

The Fritt Ord Tribute

The Fritt Ord Tribute is accompanied by a cash award of NOK 100 000 and a crystal vase. It is awarded by the Fritt Ord Foundation’s Board to show appreciation for constructive actions to promote freedom of speech, often in conjunction with a current event. The Fritt Ord’s Board also awards the Fritt Ord Prize.