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Completed project

Disruptive Change and New Media Policies: A Field Approach

Project period 2016 - 2019
Project employer The Research Council of Norway
Project nr. 10158 / NFR: 259161
Project leader Rune Karlsen

Project Objectives

The primary objective of the project is to provide in-depth knowledge about of i) the media policy field ii) the media industry field, and iii) individual news consumption.

The secondary objective is to analyze the implications of these changes for fulfilling media policy goals of an open and enlightened public discourse, and a corresponding enlightened understanding among the public. 

Project Approach

The project combines a longitudinal perspective on media consumption and media policy development, with contemporary institutional field studies focusing on the interplay between key actors.

This combined approach enables us to consider the effect of media policy in detail, as it has occurred both on the field level and the individual level, and to provide historically embedded knowledge that can shed light on contemporary challenges.

Field analyses of the Norwegian media industry taken in the broad sense, including new, emerging actors, such as digital intermediaries, as well as established key players will allow us to analyze the impact of digitalization in relation to external and internal diversity, as well as quality.

This is combined with the analysis of a unique and complex data set on individual news consumption that includes information on sources/platforms used as well as content, and how this has developed in different user groups over the past two decades, i.e. the development in exposure diversity at the individual level.

Finally we make use of a large, comparative data set that enables the study of the development of political knowledge within different national media systems over time to probe the link between source diversity in a given system and an enlightened, politically knowledgeable population.

Project Relevance

Ultimately, our design allows us both to provide most-needed empirical descriptions of current developments in media systems linked to digitalization and globalization, and to ask fundamental questions about the potential space for public media policies in an era of exponential increase in news offers, and in a situation where the policy field has been opened up to a range of new actors.

Further information:



ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Bernard Enjolras Research Professor, Director Center for research on civil society and voluntary sector PhD +47 976 89 237
Rune Karlsen Research Professor (20% position) PhD
Kari Steen-Johnsen Research Professor PhD +47 906 49 417
Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud Research Professor PhD +47 951 09 236
Vilde Sundet (Høgskolen i Lillehammer)
Karoline Ihlebæk (Universitetet i Oslo)


  • Ihlebæk, Karoline Andrea & Sundet, Vilde Schanke (2021). Global platforms and asymmetrical power: Industry dynamics and opportunities for policy change. New Media & Society. p. 1–18. doi: 10.1177/14614448211029662. Full text in Research Archive
  • Haugsgjerd, Atle; Hesstvedt, Stine & Karlsen, Rune (2021). Increased media choice and political knowledge gaps: A comparative longitudinal study of 18 established democracies 1995-2015. Political Communication. 38(6), p. 731–750. doi: 10.1080/10584609.2020.1868633. Full text in Research Archive
  • Karlsen, Rune; Beyer, Audun & Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2020). Do High-Choice Media Environments Facilitate News Avoidance? A Longitudinal Study 1997–2016. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2020.1835428. Full text in Research Archive
  • Sundet, Vilde Schanke & Syvertsen, Trine (2020). From problem to solution? Why it is difficult to restrict the remit of public broadcasters. International Journal of Cultural Policy. doi: 10.1080/10286632.2020.1807522. Full text in Research Archive
  • Sundet, Vilde Schanke; Ihlebæk, Karoline Andrea & Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2019). Policy windows and converging frames: a longitudinal study of digitalization and media policy change . Media, Culture and Society. p. 1–16. doi: 10.1177/0163443719867287. Full text in Research Archive
  • Steen-Johnsen, Kari; Sundet, Vilde Schanke & Enjolras, Bernard (2019). Theorizing Policy-Industry Processes : A Media Policy Field Approach. European Journal of Communication. doi: 10.1177/0267323119830047. Full text in Research Archive

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  • Haugsgjerd, Atle; Karlsen, Rune; Steen-Johnsen, Kari & Beyer, Audun (2021). Misinformed or uninformed? A panel-study of how the use of social media as a news source influences political knowledge .
  • Karlsen, Rune; Sundet, Vilde Schanke & Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2021). Slik er den nye digitale offentligheten. Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.).
  • Sundet, Vilde Schanke & Vollan, Mari Brenna (2020). SVT er blitt skyteskive. [Newspaper]. Klassekampen.
  • Ihlebæk, Karoline Andrea & Sundet, Vilde Schanke (2020). Global Super Players in Small Nations: Industry Tensions and Opportunities for Policy Change.
  • Sundet, Vilde Schanke & Helleve, Kjartan (2020). Uangripelege allmennkringkastarar. [Business/trade/industry journal]. Kringom.
  • Sundet, Vilde Schanke (2020). Derfor vinner NRK politiske debatter om seg selv. Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.).
  • Beyer, Audun; Karlsen, Rune & Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2020). Social Media News Consumption and Political Surveillance Knowledge:Adding Motivation and Ability to the Equation .
  • Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2019). Offentligheten som rom for frie uttrykk.
  • Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2019). Polarisering, fragmentering og ekkokamre.
  • Beyer, Audun; Karlsen, Rune & Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2019). News Habits Die Hard, but Die. A Longitudinal Study of Total News Avoidance in the transition from low to high-Choice Media Environments 1997-2016.
  • Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2019). Utfordringer for offentlighet og ytringsfrihet i dagens Norge.
  • Sundet, Vilde Schanke; Ihlebæk, Karoline Andrea & Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2019). Policy windows and converging frames: How media industry players frame digitalization and the need for policy actions.
  • Ihlebæk, Karoline Andrea; Sundet, Vilde Schanke & Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2019). Digitalization and diversity: A case study of policy incentives in the news sector.
  • Karlsen, Rune; Beyer, Audun & Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2019). Social Media News Consumption, News Finds Me Perceptions, and Political Knowledge.
  • Sundet, Vilde Schanke; Ihlebæk, Karoline Andrea & Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2019). 20 år med digital mediekrise. Dagens næringsliv.
  • Karlsen, Rune (2018). Nyhetsbruk i endring 1992-2014: får færre med seg nyheter? .
  • Karlsen, Rune (2018). Surveymetode og mediemangfold.
  • Steen-Johnsen, Kari (2018). Media, misinformation and polarization.
  • Haugsgjerd, Atle; Stine, Hesstvedt & Karlsen, Rune (2017). Increased Media Diversity and Political Knowledge Gaps. A Comparative Longitudinal Study 1995-2015 .
  • Steen-Johnsen, Kari & Sundet, Vilde Schanke (2017). "Digitalization, globalization and the condition for national media policies - a field perspective".
  • Karlsen, Rune (2016). Digitalisering, innovasjon og mediepolitikk: en felttilnærming.

View all works in Cristin

Tags: Elections and Democracy, Digitalization
Published Oct. 28, 2016 1:07 PM - Last modified Nov. 2, 2020 11:10 AM