The Media Welfare State

Nordic Media in the Digital Era

Trine Syvertsen Univ of Oslo, Gunn Enli Univ of Oslo, Ole J. Mjøs Univ of Bergen, Hallvard Moe Univ of Bergen

A dynamic examination of the media system in the Nordic countries during the transition to today's digital environment

University of Michigan Press

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Praise for the book

"The book is highly recommended reading for researchers and students interested in media systems analysis in a regional context. It has a lot of potential to encourage imagination about respective cases in other regions in Europe and worldwide." --Taisto Hujanen and Tom Evens, International Journal of Digital Television

"The Media Welfare State offers an interesting and convincing theoretical framework for understanding the particularities of the media system of the Nordic countries. The book will likely become a standard reference for researchers and students who work with media in this region, and that will be well-deserved". Aske Kammer, European Journal of Communication

"[T]the book is convincingly argued throughout and, as a result, the theoretical framework of the media welfare state is persuasive. I found the chapter on media use within the region particularly interesting because it convincingly demonstrates that the media welfare state is not just a political and industrial structure ...: the media welfare state is also something that seems to happen in our everyday media consumption". Pia Majbrit Jensen, Mediekultur

"Boken er et nøkternt, men forfriskende bidrag til teoriene om den nordiske modellen. Forfatterne argumenterer for at forståelsen av den nordiske måten å organisere samfunnet på er ufullstendig hvis den ikke tar hensyn til mediene og mediepolitikkens rolle i nasjonen." Magnus Hoem Iversen, Røyst

"Bogen er nytænkende og relevant læsning for alle med interesse for medie- og kommunikationsforhold i de nordiske lande. Man kunne også håbe, at bogens teoretisering, ikke mindst i forhold til public service-mediernes rolle, ville kunne blive omdrejningspunkt for den debat om netop public service mediers rolle i fremtiden, som lige nu finder sted i alle de nordiske lande". Mark Blach-Ørsten, Norsk Medietidsskrift

Academic presentations

Book signing in Århus, Ole Mjøs
Book signing in Århus, Ole Mjøs

2016 The Media Welfare State: Public Service Broadcasting in the Nordic Region The Reykjavik Adademy, Island, 19.11 (Enli)

2016 The Media Welfare State: Nordic Media in the Digital Era, New York University, 19.4. (Enli)

2016 Why bother with a 'Nordic media model?, paper presented at the seminar Comparative Media Systems Revisited, Copenhagen University, 20-21.1. (Moe)

2015 The Media Welfare State: Changes and Challenges for Public Service Broadcasting. Berkeley University, Workshop on “Unpacking the Nordic Model” 30.9-2.10 (Syvertsen)

2015 Nordic media: Worth exploring, worth discussing, worth defending? Conference plenary. NordMedia, Copenhagen, 12-15.8 (Syvertsen)

2015 Media, Communications and the State in the Nordic Region: The History of the Media Welfare State, ICA Communication History conference: Communications and the State: Toward a New International History, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 21.5 (Mjøs, Enli, Syvertsen)

2015 The Media Welfare State, Private Television and the Public Interest. Media Policy Group at SMIT/IMINDS. Free University Brussels, 23.4 (Syvertsen)

2015 PSB and the Media Welfare State: Promoting Positive Free Speech, Positive Free Speech workshop, London School of Economics, 7-8.4 (PDF-presentation) (Enli)

2015 Positive Free Speech and the Media Welfare State, Positive Free Speech workshop, London School of Economics. 7-8.4 (PDF-presentation) (Syvertsen, Mjøs)

2015 Studying the media welfare state. Workshop on ‘The Media Welfare State and Beyond'. University of Aarhus 10-11.3 (Syvertsen, Mjøs)

2014 The Media Welfare State: The Impact of Consensual Policy-making for Commercial Media Companies, ECREA, Lisboa, 12-15.11 (Enli, Mjøs, Moe, Syvertsen)

2013 The Media Welfare State: The Informational, Cultural and Democratic Safety Net of the Nordic Model? Nordmedia, Oslo, 8-11.10 (Enli, Mjøs, Moe, Syvertsen)

2013 The Media Welfare State: Nordic Media in the Era of Globalization. ICA pre-conference “The Return of the State”, International Communication Association, ICA, London 16.6 (Enli, Mjøs, Moe, Syvertsen)

For students and researchers: Updated statistics and resources for further study (December 2016):

We are often asked questions about the concept of the media welfare state, and there is a general interest in statistical and other forms of comparative research and sources. We are grateful to Jessica Yarin Robinson at the University of Oslo, who has produced a statistical update based on the media welfare state book, to be downloaded here: Updated statistics and resources for further study

Short follow-up article

"The Media Welfare State: Nordic Media in Times of Change", in Freedom of Expression and Media in Transition. 2016

"....sheds light on the structures that have linked the Nordic welfare state with media policy measures. ... [T]he reader gains an informed perspective". Gabriel B. Tait, Newspaper Research Journal


London School of Economics Blog The Nordic experience demonstrates why ‘distinctiveness’ downgrades the debate about the BBC


Norden er en egen medieregion, Universitetet i Oslo

The Media Welfare State,University of Bergen

Follow-up research project

Media Companies and the Public Interest (Enli & Syvertsen)