Featured Projects

20.12.2019

Fritt Ord-supported local journalism in 2019

Photo: Trond J. Strøm / Aftenposten
Through the programme "Norwegian Journalism", Fritt Ord provided support for roughly 20 local newspaper projects this year. The merger of Norwegian municipalities, the environment and climate are among the topics that have appeared repeatedly among the applications. Many of the applications are for time- and resource-intensive investigative projects planned for publication in 2020 and 2021.



Two of the local newspaper projects that gained broader national attention in 2019 are the newspaper Dølen's series of articles on reception centres for asylum seekers at the Rondablikk Highland Resort and Drangedalsposten's articles on environmental toxins. Both were awarded support by Fritt Ord in 2018.

The whole story of Rondablikk can be read on Dølen's website (in Norwegian only): Rondablikksoga (29 November 2019). A summary (in Norwegian only) can also be found on NRK.no: When the hotel became an acute reception centre overnight (30 November 2019). The Association for Local Newspapers has written about the work behind the scenes: Dølen poised to publish a major investigative project (20 November 2019). The project was carried out by Dølen in collaboration with the Centre for Investigative Journalism at the University of Bergen (SUJO), the Association for Local Newspapers (LLA) and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK). The Fritt Ord Foundation has provided NOK 140 000 in support for the project.
 
Drangedalsposten raised the hackles of the local community when it revealed lead pollution near the shooting range at Motjenn: Now, water samples show that Motjenn is also polluted by lead (11 April 2019). For this and other investigative journalism, editor Jan Magne Stensrud has been both harassed and received threats to his life. The case has been discussed inter alia in The JournalistWhen the local paper began raising critical issues, the people of the village turned their backs (31 October 2019). The Fritt Ord Foundation provided support of NOK 40 000 in support for the project.
 
In 2020, there are six deadlines for applications for journalistic projects. The call for applications can be read here.