The information centre Medianorway at risk of being closed as government considers cutting funding after 28 years.
Medianorway is a public information centre whose objective is to make Norwegian media statistics available and to document trends and media development. The future of the information centre is now uncertain. In the suggested national state budget for 2023, Medianorway’s financial support was cut, and therefore it is at risk of being closed.
Medianorway was established by the Ministry of Culture in Norway in 1994, and it has since provided independent, publicly accessible, and versatile media statistics that contribute to a comprehensive knowledge base on media use, content, economy, and structure. Futhermore, Medianorway has been an active partner in the Nordic cooperation on statistics and is described by the partners as an invaluable resource for the Nordic countries. Medianorway is part of Nordicom’s working group that works with Nordic media statistics. Jonas Ohlsson, director of Nordicom, states the following regarding the planned closing:
For me, Medianorway is an organisation that, with small financial resources, maintains impressive subject expertise and source knowledge regarding Norwegian media development and its various data sources. It is no exaggeration to claim that Norway, thanks to Medianorway’s activities, is the country with the most versatile and generally accessible statistical agency in the media area in the Nordics. From both a Swedish and a Nordic perspective, this appears as a media policy resource to protect and develop – not to dismantle.
As such, the potential closing of Medianorway risks having negative repercussions for the well-developed exchange of knowledge and statistics in the media area that takes place at the Nordic level. The Norwegian Medieforskerlaget [Media Rearch Team] is showing their concern as well. They state that Medianorway offers unique statistics for decision-makers and research- and educational environments, and united, they strongly regret the proposal for closure.
Picture by Janne F. Lønne, University of Bergen