conflict & communication online, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2013
ISSN 1618-0747




Rune Ottosen, Tore Slaatta & Sigurd Øfsti
How they missed the big story: Norwegian news media and NATO’s military operation in Libya

This paper reports from a research project on how selected Norwegian newspapers covered the NATO-led military engagement in Libya in 2011. As a backdrop we build on earlier research on the role between the media and security policy which had found that in times of war the media in general support the government. We analyze Norwegian newspaper's ability to present, discuss and express opinions on the principal political and legal questions concerning international military interventions in general and Norwegian participation in the NATO-led operations in Libya 2011 in particular Our findings is that legal issues are underreported but that the left wing press and niche newspapers offer a critical opposition to the government policy and the NATO-operation.


  englischer Volltext  

On the authors:
Rune Ottosen is professor in journalism at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences He has written extensively on press history and media coverage of war and conflicts. He is co-editor with Stig Arne Nohrstedt of several books, the latest Global War – Local Views: Media Images of the Iraq War. In 2008 Ottosen published VG, Saddam og vi. Et kritisk blikk på nyhetsdekning av kriger og konflikter. In 2010 he was one of the editors and co-author of the four volume Norwegian Press History, Norsk Presses historie (1767-2010).

Tore Slaatta is professor and Dr.polit. at the Department of Media and Communication, at the University of Oslo, and has since the 1990s been working on research concerning European public sphere and the role of transnational journalism, and financial journalism in the Nordic countries (with Peter Kjær, 2005). Slaatta directed research on media power within the Norwegian Power and Democracy Program (Makt- og demokratiutredningen), observing among other things, the increasing importance of digital media (Digital makt 2002) and recent developments within Norwegian journalism and media institutions (Den norske medieorden, 2003) in a field analytical perspective. More Recent research interests are concerned with the field of cultural production and the relationships between art, cultural politics and the cultural industries.

Sigurd Øfsti has studied media science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and at Lillehammer University College. In 2009 he started a masters degree in journalism at the University of Oslo and in 2011 he completed his studies delivering a thesis on how Norwegian journalists use the microblogging service Twitter. Aside his studies he has been working in the local Norwegian newspapers "Drammens Tidende" and "Moss Avis". After finishing his master degree he worked as a scientific assistant, and since 2011 he has been working as a polticial journalist in the local Norwegian newspaper"Smaalenenes  Avis".