NRK contributes positively to media plurality in Norway according to NMA

posted on 12 April, 2018   (public)

NRK's ​​online presence does not cause significant restrictions on competition in the markets analysed 


In a report published on 11 April 2018, the Media Authority (Medietilsynet) concludes that the public service media NRK contributes positively to the overall media plurality in Norway, and that NRK's online presence does not seem to cause significant restrictions on competition in the markets that have been analysed.

on news and current affairs offer online. The Media Authority has, in addition to its own assessments, brought in analyses from independent media researchers and consultants on the competitive analysis.

The main conclusions of the Media Authority's report are as follows:

  • NRK contributes positively to media plurality by fulfilling its public service mission
  • NRK's ​​contribution to media plurality is made clear in particular through its regional operations (regional news)
  • NRK's ​​online news and current affairs offerings affect the overall offer to the audience positively
  • NRK's ​​online presence does not seem to cause significant restrictions on competition in the markets analysed
  • No negative correlation could be found between the use of NRK's ​​online offer and the willingness to pay for digital news
  • There are greater similarities in content between the national "popular media" than between NRK and these actors
  • NRK serves as a common arena when it comes to media usage
  • NRK's ​​cooperation with commercial actors is developing positively
  • Commercial media players are still in a demanding transformation phase - local and regional media are particularly vulnerable.
  • The reason does not seem to be the competition from NRK. To weaken NRK as publicly funded public broadcaster will not make commercial media more competitive, and may weaken, rather than strengthen the overall media plurality.

When presenting the report, NMA's Director Mari Velsand emphasised that commercial media, especially local and regional newspapers, is still in a demanding transformation phase and that it would be urgent to take action aimed at this part of the industry. In this context, she refered to the proposals presented by the Media Pluralism Commission on 7 March 2017. She however emphasised that weakening NRK may have negative effects on the overall Norwegian media diversity and would not be a solution to the challenges faced by commercial media.

The Media Authority had been commissioned by the Ministry of Culture to assess how NRK's offer, compared with the offer of other actors, contributes to plurality in terms of content and consumption, and to what extent NRK contributes to media diversity through cooperation with other players. The audit should also consider whether NRK's content, especially the content offered digitally, affect the offer of commercial players and if the offer to the public is thereby impaired.

Source: Website of the Norwegian Media Authority

Additional EPRA Background: Note that public service and public interest content in the digital age will feature prominently on EPRA's agenda during the 47th EPRA Meeting in Luxembourg on 23-25 May 2018 with a plenary session.