These were the top stories of 2018

President Donald TrumpActing Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, left, and acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, right, listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

These were the top stories of 2018 in Norway

For the second consecutive year, Donald Trump was the most talked about phenomenon in Norwegian media in 2018, but readers believe the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang was the best covered.


Donald Trump featured a total of 53,120 times in Norwegian media during the year. That is over 21,000 more times than the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and over three times as often as the Soccer World Cup show fresh figures from Retriever, owned by NTB and the Swedish news agency, TT.

Nevertheless, the coverage of last year’s sporting events were what most Norwegians were most satisfied with shows the survey, AgendaTracker.

“76% experienced the winter Olympics as well or very well covered. It was also the story that made people the most happy in 2018,” said adviser at PR Operations, Marie Langebeck.

That may not be particularly surprising.

The Winter Olympics became a medal party seen through Norwegian eyes, and with 39 medals, Norway became the highest medal winning country in the Winter Olympics ever.

Trump, on the other hand, made over 80% of us sad or upset, while only 5% got a little or very happy reading stories about the world’s most powerful man.

Record heat worried us

The record heat and forest fire hazard last summer was the seventh most talked about story in 2018, but nevertheless became the one that made the second largest impression on Norwegian readers.

In essence, concerns and disturbance were the feelings Norwegians felt most when they read these stories.

“Both Norway and large parts of Europe experienced an extremely hot and dry summer. Temperatures of over 40 degrees in southern Europe led to more deaths, droughts, forest fires and damaged crops for farmers. Although the summer heat was perhaps welcome for many here in Norway, the figures show that the abnormal temperatures primarily concerned us” said analysis manager at Retriever, Guro Lindebjerg.

Syria rebels

Although, after almost eight years, the end is approaching, the bloody civil war in Syria was the cause that made Norwegian readers most upset.

A total of 97% of respondents said they were saddened by reading about the conflict which, according to estimates by various observer groups, has cost between 360,000 and 560,000 lives.

“The civil war that evolved in 2011 is an ongoing tragedy, and there is much to suggest that the complex conflict continues to engage. In addition, the war in Syria has developed into a political power game between the international powers, which gives the conflict a new dimension, said Lindebjerg.

#MeToo and KrF

Conflicts in Norwegian politics have also gained a lot of space in 2018. The #MeToo campaign which, among other things, had consequences for Norwegian politicians such as Trond Giske, Kristian Tonning-Riise, and Trine Skei Grande, was mentioned 25,751 times.

The unrest in the Kristelig Folkeparti (KrF) got almost as much mention, but it did not engage us as much as the #MeToo cases, according to the survey.

“84% were sad or upset by the #MeToo disclosures that hit Norwegian politics just over a year ago. Although KrF has also been out in hard weather with, among other things, homosexuals and a political path, there are far more people who are indifferent to the conflict in the split centre party. A total of 38% responded that they react neutrally to the KrF cases,” Langebeck said.

AgendaTracker maps out which media cases Norwegians have received and how they react to them.

The survey is a collaboration between the communications agency ‘PR-operatørene’, the media analysis agency, Retriever, and the opinion polling institute, YouGov.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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