NRK’s contribution to media diversity analysed
The public service media house NRK makes a positive contribution to media plurality in Norway, and its online operations do not seem to place significant constraints on the market competition. These are the Norwegian Media Authority’s main conclusions in a report presented in April.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, the Norwegian Media Authority (Medietilsynet) has carried out an analysis of NRK’s role and contribution to Norwegian media diversity in terms of both content and consumption.
The analysis has also assessed NRK’s cooperation with commercial actors and the competitive effects of its output of news and current affairs online.
Besides the main conclusions – that through its public service mission NRK makes a positive contribution to media plurality and that it constitutes no direct harm to its competition in the media markets analysed – the analysis also finds that there is no correlation between NRK’s online offering and the willingness to pay for digital news, and that NRK’s cooperation with commercial actors is developing in a positive way.
The Media Authority also concludes that even though the commercial media players are still in a demanding transformation phase – in which local and regional journalism is particularly vulnerable – the solution is not to weaken public service media. This would not make commercial media more competitive, but might instead have negative effects on the overall Norwegian media diversity.
External research reports: In addition to its own assessments, the Media Authority has brought in analyses from independent media researchers and consultants.
Researchers from the University of Bergen have contributed two reports: Brukerperspektiv på NRKs bidrag til mediemangfoldet og innvirkning på andre aktører [User Perspective on NRK's Contribution to Media Diversity and Impact on Other Actors] by Hovden, Moe, Rosenlund and Holm, and NRKs bidrag til mediemangfoldet [NRK's Contribution to Media Diversity] by Sjøvaag and Pedersen. A third analysis, on the competitive economics of NRK's news online in three selected markets, has been conducted by Menon Economics.
The reports can be downloaded from the Media Authority's website.