Bergen Media Use Research Group

Research Projects

Read about a selection of our ongoing projects. For a full overview, please see the norwegian site or contact us.

Main content

Depression: The Norwegian newspaper economy in the digital age 

The newspaper industry is in turmoil and has been so for more than a decade. Advertising revenues are declining, physical print circulation is dwindling, and newspapers are still struggling to monetise their digital content effectively. Within this context of crisis and rapid technological change, my PhD project’s central aim is to examine Norwegian national newspapers’ financial strategies from a twofold perspective: the strategies’ economic viability, and the strategies’ social consequences. Examples of such social consequences include the public’s access to news (“paywalls” exclude non-subscribers), various editorial decisions (e.g. selection of target audiences, topics, tone of voice, sources), and, most importantly, the future of the journalistic profession. This dual focus is essential for understanding how newspapers may become economically sustainable under conditions of rapid technological change while at the same time fulfilling their civic responsibilities.

The project is funded by The Cambridge Trust and Rådet for anvendt medieforskning (RAM), with support from The Cambridge Department of Sociology, Jansons legat, and Michael Width Endresens fond. 

The project is led by Tellef S. Raabe. He is a PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge, supervised by Professor Emeritus John B. Thompson. His dissertation is on the financial strategies of Norwegian national newspapers, and these strategies' societal consequences. Raabe is, more broadly, interested in media sociology, journalism, technology, media policy, political communication, and social theory (Bourdieu). His PhD is funded by The Cambridge Trust and Rådet for anvendt medieforskning (RAM), with support from The Cambridge Department of Sociology, Jansons legat, and Michael Width Endresens fond. 

Algorithm operated front pages

In spring 2019, the media house Schibsted introduced an algorithm which governs the front pages of many of the company's online news papers, like Bergens Tidende and Aftenposten. The algorithm is supposed to make sure readers are exposed to news they haven't read, but also contribute to an increase in earnings and subscriptions. Through a qualitative newsroom study, the project investigates norwegian news papers' experiences after a year with an algortihm operated front page. The project aims to look into how the algorithm works in practice, and how content, angle and quality are influenced by the algortihm, which includes click rates and reading numbers in the algorithm.

The project is led by Marianne Borchgrevik-Brækhus, and financed by Rådet for anvendt medieforskning (RAM).

Young, man and gamer – a study of computer games, identity and masculinity

There is little knowledge on how young men experience and negotiate with what it means to be a gamer, and which identities and communities gaming creates and defines in today's Norway. The project studies this through focus groups with 30 young male players who are 16 to 19 years old. The project will research how gaming enter into negotiations about gender and identity, in a time where many have an experience and opinion about this, and where the online gaming cultures constitutes a central part of young mens life. It will focus on young mens emotional reactions to the increased diversity and the gendered politicization of the gaming discourse – and investigate how gaming related practices kan create foundation and belonging to certain identities and communities. One of the questions rised is the room the gamer-identity creates for maculinity, and how the target group can explore and negotiate it.

The project is led by Synnøve Lindtner and financed by Rådet for anvendt medieforskning (RAM).

Knowledge and information in the new public

How do scientists experience the task of sharing free and verifiable knowledge in todays society? And have peoples views on the limits of freedom of speech changed? The project focuses on freedom of speech's position in research and academia, on how scientists experience their right to speak, and experiences on researching and sharing information on topics of current interest in the norwegian public. Following up research from 2013 and 2015, the project also investigates where Norwegian draw the line for freedom of speech in 2020. The project is organized in five subprojects.

Fritt Ord is financing the research project. Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud from Institutt for samfunnsforskning is project leader. Hallvard Moe (UiB) is leading the subproject on "Trust, techonolgy and connection - freedom of information as a base for freedom of speech". Scienticts from UiO and NTNU also work on the project. Read more about it here. (In Norwegian)

Intrusive media, ambivalent users and digital detox (Digitox)

The Digitox project analyses digital disconnection and current questions pertaining to the extensive uses of digital media in society. The past few years have seen considerable changes in how we communicate and socialize, and digital media present us with constant dilemmas about what good media use is. While many studies focus on the positive sides of digital media, the Digitox project emphasises ambivalence, resistance and attempts at disconnection. The project employs interdisciplinary insights from media and communication scholarship, game studies and psychology to investigate digital media and the role they play in people’s lives. 

The Digitox project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council (FRIPRO). The project is a collaboration between multiple research institutions, including Brita Ytre-Arne and Hallvard Moe at UiB with Trine Syvertsen at the University of Oslo as principal investigator. Read more about the project here.

Media, Culture and Public Connection: Freedom of Information in "the Age of Big Data”

How is the freedom of information being used? This Project studies how norwegian citizens connect to the public sphere, or choose not to. 

The fourth year project, funded by the Research Council of Norway, and led by Professor Hallvard Moe, studies how people in Norway exercise and experience their freedom of information. It also studies the role of the media and cultural arenas in peoples relationship with the public across sosiocultural divides. Read more about the Project here

Media policy, Minority Youth and Social Cohesion: a Study of Media Experiences among Minority Youth in Norway

The project is led by Torgeir Uberg Nærland, and examines media experiences among minority youth with regards to in what degree and how minority youth experiences different kinds of media content to contribute to social cohesion and a feeling of inclusion, as current aims in present media policy. A central motivation for the current media and culture policy is that the media ought to form an arena for a feeling of connection and belonging, and that this leads to democratic participation. This consideration is especially pressing regarding minority youth, as experiences with exlusion and marginalisation is prevalent. 

Unlike former studies with focus on symbolic exlusion in this manner, this project studies what kinds of, and how, media content actually contributes to symbolic inclusion. Through in-depth interviews and empirical examination of minority youths media experiences, the study contributes to shed light on what media expressions that are important, and how media policy`s aim of social cohesion is challenged. This way the project will also contribute to strengthen the knowledge on norwegian media and cultural policies, and thereby contribute to a more precise use of means in the field of media policy.