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RAM-funding awarded to news research

by | Feb 19, 2021

Last Updated on June 28, 2021 by Christoph Trattner

Photo: Colourbox

Professor Hallvard Moe is awarded 420.000 NOK in research funding from the Norwegian Media Authority for his project “Payment for news: Reluctance, evasive manoeuvre and inequality in the digital news landscape”. 

Hallvard Moe is Professor of Media Studies at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen and is the leader for the Work Package 1: Understanding Media Experiences in the SFI MediaFutures. He is also head of Bergen Media Research group with Brita Ytre-Arne. Moe is interested in the role of media in democracy and has researched public service broadcasting policy, and media policy more generally. He has worked on issues with media and the public sphere theoretically as well as empirically, combining a historical interest with analyses of online media from blogs to Twitter. Moe has co-authored textbooks in media studies, co-written research monographs, co-edited anthologies and journal special issues, and published around 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as around 20 book chapters. 

RAM is short for “Rådet for anvendt medieforskning” (norwegian) – Council for Applied Media Research

Research questions

“In this project, we want to understand better what it is like to not pay for news. For the news business, it is crucial to figure out how people experience news, and what motivates those who choose to pay for news, and those who don’t”, explains Moe. “How do they dodge the so-called paywall? How dynamic or stable are users’ practices in terms of payment? How do people decide between paying for Netflix, Spotify or Aftenposten?” are typical questions the project wants to find out.  

Moe also points out the importance of finding out more about the news and information sources to those who don’t pay for news, from a user and democratic perspective. “Do they get poorer information? How do they orient themselves towards political issues?”, he asks.  

Goals for the project 

The project will be testing out different methods and will be important for learning more about a specific group of news readers:  

“This project will further our insights into the everyday media experiences of people in Norway today – focusing on a specific group who are hard to reach for news providers. It’s a small project, but a way to start also experimenting with some methods. For instance, we want to subsidise news subscriptions for our informants for a short period, and use that as a way to discuss habits and changing uses”, Moe points out.  

Valuable for MediaFutures 

The project is also very valuable for MediaFutures as a research centre, as Moe explains:  

“This small project is a pilot of a planned bigger effort that involves our research partner Irene Costera Meijer at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and it directly ties in with the tasks in WP1 on understanding “hidden” media use, and hard-to-reach audience groups”.  

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