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Ongoing project

Disruptive Change and New Media Policies: A Field Approach

Project period 2016 - 2019
Project employer The Research Council of Norway
Project nr. 10158
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 Director, Politics, democracy, civil society PhD +47 906 49 417
Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 951 09 236
Vilde Sundet (Høgskolen i Lillehammer)
Karoline Ihlebæk (Universitetet i Oslo)


  • Kari Steen-Johnsen; Vilde Schanke Sundet & Bernard Enjolras (2019). Theorizing Policy-Industry Processes : A Media Policy Field Approach. European Journal of Communication.
  • Vilde Schanke Sundet; Karoline Andrea Ihlebæk & Kari Steen-Johnsen (2019). Policy windows and converging frames: a longitudinal study of digitalization and media policy change. Media Culture and Society.  s 1- 16

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  • Kari Steen-Johnsen (2019). Utfordringer for offentlighet og ytringsfrihet i dagens Norge.
  • Vilde Schanke Sundet; Karoline Andrea Ihlebæk & Kari Steen-Johnsen (2019). Policy windows and converging frames: How media industry players frame digitalization and the need for policy actions.
  • Karoline Andrea Ihlebæk; Vilde Schanke Sundet & Kari Steen-Johnsen (2019). Digitalization and diversity: A case study of policy incentives in the news sector.
  • Audun Beyer; Rune Karlsen & Kari Steen-Johnsen (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.
  • Rune Karlsen; Audun Beyer & Kari Steen-Johnsen (2019). Social Media News Consumption, News Finds Me Perceptions, and Political Knowledge..
  • Vilde Schanke Sundet; Karoline Andrea Ihlebæk & Kari Steen-Johnsen (2019). 20 år med digital mediekrise. Dagens næringsliv.
  • Kari Steen-Johnsen (2017). Norwegian public debate - echo chambers, hate speech and polarization?.
  • Kari Steen-Johnsen & Vilde Schanke Sundet (2017). "Digitalization, globalization and the condition for national media policies - a field perspective".
  • Atle Haugsgjerd; Hesstvedt Stine & Rune Karlsen (2017). Increased Media Diversity and Political Knowledge Gaps. A Comparative Longitudinal Study 1995-2015.

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Tags: Elections and Democracy, Digitalization
Published Oct. 28, 2016 1:07 PM - Last modified June 21, 2017 1:13 PM