Expert Committee to map Children’s Exposure to Harmful Media Content

ViSmedia researcher Thomas Wold has been appointed as a member of a Government selected expert committee to give advice on safe media use for children and adolescents.

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The Ministry of Culture has appointed an expert committee led by lawyer Jon Wessel-Aas. Post doctoral researcher Thomas Wold at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, UiB, is appointed a member of the committee.

The mandate of the expert committee is to gather the existing knowledge of media effects, describe children’s exposure for potential harmful media content, and outline future trends and recommendations for further research. A part of this work will be to identify children's own production and sharing of sexualized images on electronic platforms.

The expert committee shall also map how these issues have been dealt with in other countries, particularly the Nordic countries and the Netherlands, and evaluate the Norwegian law on the protection of minors against harmful image programs (the Image Program Act of 2015).

Based on these analyses, the committee shall outline a best practice for protection against harmful media effects, with a focus on preventive measures, including attitude work and competence-raising measures.

In a statement, the Ministry of Culture writes that "Good sexual health is important for the individual's quality of life. Children, adolescents and adults need knowledge and security to set boundaries and to make independent choices about their own body and sexuality. "

The main objective of the investigation is to ensure that children are protected against harmful content. At the same time, objectives and concrete measures in the area must be balanced against and safeguard other rights and considerations, including freedom of expression and privacy.


Lawyer Jon-Wessel Aas is head of the committee and will be in charge of the work. He has particularly worked with questions concerning media law, copyright, freedom of speech, privacy, and human rights. The other delegated are:

Child and adolescent psychiatrists Melanie Ekholdt Huynh

Associate professor Daniel Schofield, Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, NTNU

Associate professor Ola Johan Settem, Department of Law, University of Stavanger

Professor Elisabeth Staksrud, Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo

Police Captain Anne Katrin Storsveen

Postdoctoral scholar Thomas Wold, ViSmedia Group, University of Bergen

Board Secretary Ola-Kristian Hoff, Ministry of Culture

Read related article at regjeringen.no (NO).