In 2014, Syvertsen, Enli, Mjøs, and Moe authored The Media Welfare State: Nordic Media in a Digital Era to explore the specificities of Nordic media and the analogy between welfare state and media structures. In this short article, we point to how selected works challenge or extend the notions of a media welfare state beyond the original analysis. We begin by placing the work in a tradition of comparative and typology-generating scholarship and point to parallel works emerging at the same time. We then highlight others’ contributions in order to identify tendencies in Nordic media and research. In conclusion, we use examples from current research to argue that changes in the media system may be studied from both the angle of changing media policies and that of changing welfare states.
This article analyses the key strategies for serving children that were developed in Nordic public broadcasting during the first decade of 2000s, with reference to US and European parallels. The main goal is to investigate how PSB serve the children audience in an age of global competition and media convergence, and to what degree children’s content is regarded as a key to legitimacy for public broadcasters. Based on document analysis, qualitative interviews, and programme analysis, the article explores the launch Norwegian PSB niche channel for children NRK Super, both as institutional strategy and as implemented in programming. This study demonstrates that a key PSB strategy for children’s content is to reflect national culture, language, and identity, and thus represent an alternative to global niche channels such as Disney and Nickelodeon. In addition, the NRK’s children’s content is also highly influenced by the PSB strategy to reflect “cultural pluralism” (NRK 2007). A key argument in the article is that in order to be considered as relevant for children in the culturally changing Nordic societies, the pubic service broadcasters need to provide original programming, which reflect national identity and culture without ignoring the increased multiculturalism and global influences on culture.
This article takes a new approach to the comprehensive study of an entire national Twitter-sphere. It identifies, to the extent that this is possible with the data made available through Twitter’s Application Programming Interface (API), all accounts operated by Norwegian users and institutions, analyses patterns in their public profile information, and maps their follower/followee connections with each other. This provides new insights into the historical development of the Norwegian Twittersphere, its current network structure and the presence of diverse interests and issues amongst the nearly one million accounts within this community. Its findings also constitute important background information for future Twitter research that takes the familiar hashtag studies route: its observations enable such studies to filter their datasets for confirmed Norwegian accounts only, and to examine the presence of accounts with specific interest profiles, as determined by the present study, in their datasets.
Digitization, new entrants and the disruption of business models prompt concern about the media’s societal mission. The article investigates how media managers conceptualize societal responsibility in an era of turmoil. Based on 20 semi-structured interviews with executive managers of private media companies in Norway and Flanders, the study reveals important differences in the definition of the public interest. While Flemish media managers emphasize brand value, Norwegian managers emphasize societal values, such as educating the public. When comparing managers of traditional and newer companies, a third, more straightforward market logic is also elicited, illuminating the vulnerability of traditional values.