Claims that Norwegian media censor cartoons

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Researchers say threats from religious extremists affect Norwegian media

A research article claims that Norwegian media may be publishing cartoons according to, and as a result of, threats from religious extremists.



The religious threats make Norwegian media more restrictive, because they print only certain types of content, reports the newspaper Klassekampen.

The research appears in the article, ‘Religious threats and institutional change in Norwegian mass media’, written by Olav Elgvin, and Jon Rogstad.

‘Threats seem to work with regard to a particular type of speech,’ says Elgvin, a fellow at the Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen.

He showed, among other things, that the media maintained cartoons of Charlie Hebdo to a large extent after the attack on the satire magazine in 2015. Several published small pictures, but mostly inside the newspaper, and not on the front.

‘The pressure was not proportional to the objective news value. If there had been a lonely group that had attacked Charlie Hebdo because they published a cartoon of a dog, the drawing would have had a much more prominent position in the media’, says Elgvin to Klassekampen.

The researchers’ findings are based on a large survey of Norwegian journalists from 2013, in addition to other research articles on Norwegian media coverage of Islam, as well as twelve qualitative interviews with journalists, editors and artists working in Norwegian media.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today