News consumption in Norway and Sweden
In Norway and Sweden, two inquiries are looking into how the media sector should be arranged to encourage media diversity, especially in news journalism. In both countries, the inquiries have turned to researchers for help in identifying and analysing citizens' news habits.
People having access to a variety of media, with an emphasis on diverse and qualitative news offering, is a prerequisite for democracy and freedom. This is the starting point of two national reports, commissioned by the Norwegian and Swedish media inquiries.
News consumption in Norway
This study maps the Norwegian population's media and news habits. Its focus is on "hard news"; that is, news on politics, economy and society at the international, national and local levels, which is considered to be of particular significance in providing people with information and knowledge in their role as citizens of a democratic society.
The researchers identify four types of news consumers, including news seekers (nearly half of the respondents) and news avoiders (one in ten). The results show that age is the most important factor for how news is consumed, followed by gender and education.
Published in August, the study – Bruksmangfold. En analyse av nordmenns nyhetskonsum – was conducted by Trøndelag R&D Institute on behalf of the Media Diversity Committee (Mediemangfoldsutvalget).
News consumption in Sweden
News consumption and media and information literacy form one of five themes in a research anthology, published in April. The researchers address news habit trends, with focus on news via newspapers, and show the importance of generational and socio-economic factors. Furthermore, the book looks into the development over time for consumers who rarely consume news (sometimes called news avoiders), and how media and information literacy is a prerequisite for democracy and freedom. Also included is a chapter on public libraries' role in the new media landscape.
The other themes of the anthology are: Shifts in media ecology; Digital platforms and data; the Profession, market and financing of journalism; and Journalism, rights and participation.
The anthology, Människorna, medierna & marknaden [The People, the Media & the Market], is published by the Media Inquiry (in Swedish). Twenty-eight media researchers have contributed to its content.
The media inquiries are to submit their final reports by the end of October (to be presented on November 7) in Sweden, and before March 1, 2017 in Norway.
BY: EVA HARRIE