Norway’s Minister of Culture wants input on which NRK we should have in the future. So we in NRKbeta will take on the responsibility for gathering the input of the people, and ask: According to you, what changes in NRK’s terms of operation are needed in these changing times?
When the new Solberg Government took office last year, it announced a review of NRK’s terms of operation:
Digitization leads to a new reality in the media industry. The premises for public participation, product forms, and editorial process are quickly changing. The Government will facilitate good news production and a broad public conversation in tomorrow’s digital media society. The media policy must therefore stimulate innovation, whilst safeguarding the traditions and foundation values of the free press.
The Government will:[…]
· Modernize the media political set of tools through increased equal treatment of media, irrespective of technological platform. Over time, the press subsidies will be revised and the level reduced.
· Present a white paper on the NRK licence and alternative financing arrangements
· Increase the number of external productions in NRK
· Restrict NRK’s opportunity to use its robust economy to weaken the activity basis of free institutions
The Minister of Culture says she wants an open process: «We want input both on whether the format for expressing the State’s expectations to NRK’s Public Service mission is good, and whether the actual expectations are adequate. In the hearing we also pointed out some areas where we are especially interested in input. This is linked to NRK’s commercial revenues, NRK’s content offering and NRK’s use of external productions»
Before summer, the Ministry of Culture invited to a dedicated input seminar, where invited stakeholders from media and organizations talked about what changes they wished in NRK’s operating terms.
Where is the public in all this?
During the input seminar we noticed that the voice of the public was largely absent. In a way that’s understandable. The voice of the public is not easily caught – how do you invite several million licence paying Norwegians to a theatre in Oslo on a Tuesday afternoon? Yet, we still sat there missing the point of view of the public; after all The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation ultimately belongs to the licence payers – you pay $1.10 every single day, so that we can sit here and talk with you, stand outside in the middle of world events with a microphone and all the other things we do, and which for 9 out of 10 Norwegians constitutes a part of their daily diet. When NRK’s future is discussed, what you wish and expect from your licence financed public service broadcaster is part of the calculation.
This spring, Ståle Grut (then an intern in NRKbeta) interviewed media commentator Sven Egil Omdal from Stavanger Aftenblad for his bachelor thesis:
Media commentator Omdal says he is uncertain which strong players will take care of the public’s perspective in the hearings, because he assumes competitors like Schibsted, Amedia and MTG will be working meticulously with the white paper – and consequently will be heard.
Interview with Sven Egil Omdal in Dissence about NRK Licence?
We in NRKbeta would like to do our share to ensure that the perspective of the public is included in the hearings:
NRKbeta’s enlightened public
Which means we’ll ask you, the readers of NRKbeta, for your help. The comments section here at NRKbeta regularly attracts reflected people – be it an enlightened and interested audience, or media and technology professionals. You are steadily contributing by enrichening and nuancing the debate and by sharing knowledge. We take it for granted that you do have views, wishes, needs and insights you can share, and which will be valuable contributions to the process on NRK’s future terms.
What of the current NRK should be changed?
NRK’s activity is regulated by the NRK bill, which was last revised in 2012. You’ll find it here: The NRK bill(pdf). What here works, do you think, and what should be changed? What over-arching wishes and expectations do you have for your licence financed public service broadcaster?
What input should the public give?
Text in picture:NRK is financed by the licence payers. It is therefore legitimate that the community can set certain conditions regarding NRK’s use of the licence revenue – Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey, Nordic Media Days 2014
All input is relevant, but we assume that among the three areas where the Minister of Culture is asking for input; financing, content and external productions, the public’s perspective might probably complete the picture the most in field number 2; NRK’s content offering, as it says in the press release, or Restrict NRK’s opportunity to use its robust economy to weaken the activity basis of free institutions as it is put in the Government’s political platform – that is, what NRK should and shouldn’t be doing. Today’s offering is described in more detail here.
How do I do it?
You can write your input and points of view in the comments below this article. We in NRKbeta will make sure that this content will be made known to the Department of Culture before the deadline August 26th. If you would like to write a hearing response directly to the Department of Culture, the address is email@example.com
We’re looking forward to hearing what you’re thinking and which NRK you wish for yourselves in the future!