chapter  4
15 Pages

“We Write With Our Hearts”: How community identity shapes Norwegian community journalists’ news values

WithJohn Hatcher, Emily Haavik

A transformed media landscape has been the death knell for newspapers worldwide, but in Norway, the local, or community newspaper, continues to thrive. Historically, Norwegian newspapers have enjoyed the highest readership figures in the world (Østbye 2010). While the growth of online media has meant circulation declines for daily, regional newspapers, by most indicators, the smaller, local, print newspaper continues to succeed, albeit with a very slow decline in the circulation of established local non-dailies (Høst 2012). To date, scholars have focused most of their research on explaining the reasons for the success of the local press in Norway: the country’s rugged, isolated landscape; a culture that places great value on reading; a decentralized political system; and government subsidies for local and ethnic press (Høst 2012). Recently, research has focused on what impact the growth of internet use has had on the reading habits of Nordic audiences and on whether news organizations are adapting to a changing media landscape (Findall 2008). However, little is known about the news values of the Norwegian community journalists themselves.