The front page, 2 January 1879
Stiftelsen Tinius (0,01%)
|Editor||Espen Egil Hansen|
|Founded||14 May 1860|
|Political alignment||Liberal conservative|
Aftenposten (Norwegian for "The Evening Post") is Norway's largest printed newspaper by circulation. It is based in Oslo. It had a circulation of 211,769 in 2015. It converted from broadsheet to compact format in March 2005. Aftenposten's online edition is at Aftenposten.no.
Aftenposten is a private company wholly owned by the public company Schibsted ASA. At least 30% of Schibsted is owned by English and American investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust. The paper has around 740 employees. Espen Egil Hansen is editor-in-chief as of 2016.
History and profile
Aftenposten was founded by Christian Schibsted on 14 May 1860 under the name Christiania Adresseblad. The following year, it was renamed Aftenposten. Since 1885, the paper has printed two daily editions. A Sunday edition was published until 1919, and was reintroduced in 1990. The Friday-morning edition carries the A-magasinet supplement, featuring articles on science, politics, and the arts. In 1886, Aftenposten bought a rotary press, being the first Norwegian newspaper in this regard.
Historically, Aftenposten labelled itself as "independent, conservative", most closely aligning their editorial platform with the Norwegian Conservative Party. This manifested itself in blunt anticommunism during the interwar era. During World War II, Aftenposten, due to its large circulation, was put under the directives of the German occupational authorities, and a Nazi editorial management was imposed.
Aftenposten is based in Oslo. In the late 1980s, Egil Sundar served as the editor-in-chief and attempted to transform the paper into a nationally distributed newspaper. However, he was forced to resign from his post due to his attempt.
In addition to the morning edition, Aftenposten publishes a separate evening edition called Aften (previously Aftenposten Aften). This edition was published on weekdays and Saturdays until the Sunday morning edition was reintroduced in 1990. The evening edition is only circulated in the central eastern part of Norway, i.e. Oslo and Akershus counties. Thus, it focuses on news related to this area, in contrast with the morning edition, which focuses on national and international news. The evening edition was converted to tabloid format in 1997. From April 2006, the Thursday edition of Aften also includes a special edition with news specific to a part of Oslo or Akershus, called Lokal Aften ("Local Evening"). This edition has eight versions, with each subscriber receives the version which is most relevant to the area in which he or she lives. In areas not covered by any of the eight versions (for example Romerike and Follo), the version for central Oslo is distributed. From May 2009, Aften is only printed and distributed Tuesday through Thursday.
In 1945, Aftenposten published an obituary of Adolf Hitler in which the 86-year-old Nobel-laureate novelist Knut Hamsun referred to Hitler as “a warrior for humankind and a preacher of the gospel of justice for all nations”. However, Aftenposten was at the time under the censorship of the German occupying forces.
Historically, Aftenposten did not receive the same number of lawsuits and amount of attention from the Norwegian Press Complaints Commission as some of the larger tabloids. However, exceptions exist. In 2007, Aftenposten alleged that Julia Svetlichnaja, the last person to interview the murdered Russian national Alexander Litvinenko, was a Kremlin agent. London correspondent Hilde Harbo admitted to have let herself be fed disinformation from the Russian emigrant community, without investigating the matter properly. Aftenposten eventually had to apologize, and pay Svetlichnaja's legal costs.
Aftenposten has a conservative stance and supported the political party Høyre until the breakdown of party press system in the country. Following this, the paper redefined itself as an independent centre-right.
Right-leaning critics have often pointed out that the paper has become mainstream social-democratic after the end of the Cold War, thus in essence politically aligned with a large majority of Norway's press.
True to its conservative line, Aftenposten is published in the unofficial Norwegian written norm Riksmål, which keeps closer ties to the Danish language than more commonly used norms. In 1990, Aftenposten adopted the latest Riksmål spelling standard of 1986 as its language guideline. This language standard is maintained by a private organization called Riksmålsforbundet, and not by the Norwegian language council Norsk språkråd. Since it is largely compatible with the most conservative form of the officially sanctioned, and more common norm Bokmål, this is somewhat less controversial than one would assume. However, Aftenposten has been under criticism for its strict editorial policy on this matter, mainly because it converts every contribution to the newspaper, including letters from readers, into this language standard - even if they were correctly written according to official language guidelines.
The online version of the paper had a large English section. To cut costs, Aftenposten stopped publishing English-language articles in early November 2008. Archives of past material are still available online.
Aftenposten (morning paper)
Numbers from the Norwegian Media Businesses' Association, Mediebedriftenes Landsforening 1980–2009:
- 1980: 223,925
- 1981: 227,122
- 1982: 230,205
- 1983: 232,459
- 1984: 233,998
- 1985: 240,600
- 1986: 252,093
- 1987: 260,915
- 1988: 264,469
- 1989: 267,278
- 1990: 265,558
- 1991: 269,278
- 1992: 274,870
- 1993: 278,669
- 1994: 279,965
- 1995: 282,018
- 1996: 283,915
- 1997: 286,163
- 1998: 288,078
- 1999: 284,251
- 2000: 276,429
- 2001: 262,632
- 2002: 263,026
- 2003: 256,639
- 2004: 249,861
- 2005: 252,716
- 2006: 248,503
- 2007: 250,179
- 2008: 247,556
- 2009: 243,188
- 2010: 239,831
- 2011: 235,795
- 2012: 225,981
- 2013: 214,026
- 2014: 221,659
- 2015: 211,769
Aften (evening paper) - now defunct
Numbers from the Norwegian Media Businesses' Association, Mediebedriftenes Landsforening: 1989–2009:
- 1939: 78,700
- 1989: 193,932
- 1990: 192,896
- 1991: 195,022
- 1992: 197,738
- 1993: 198,647
- 1994: 188,544
- 1995: 186,003
- 1996: 188,635
- 1997: 191,269
- 1998: 186,417
- 1999: 180,497
- 2000: 175,783
- 2001: 167,671
- 2002: 163,924
- 2003: 155,366
- 2004: 148,067
- 2005: 141,612
- 2006: 137,141
- 2007: 131,089
- 2008: 124,807
- 2009: 111,566
Aftenposten.no, online newspaper
The online newspaper Aftenposten.no had an average of 827,000 daily readers in 2015, an increase from 620.000 in 2010.
- List of Norwegian newspapers
- List of non-English newspapers with English language subsections
- Radio Gaga
- "Aftenposten AS - Oslo - Roller og kunngjøringer".
- Brekke, Ingrid (May 4, 2013). "Tabloid i form, men ikke i sjel" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "Norway: leading daily's successful switch to compact". Editors Weblog. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- Stig A. Nohrstedt et. al. (2000). "From the Persian Gulf to Kosovo — War Journalism and Propaganda" (PDF). European Journal of Communication. 15 (3). Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "Schibsted ASA - Oslo - Roller og kunngjøringer".
- Bernard A. Cook (2001). Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 935. ISBN 978-0-8153-4058-4. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- Svennik Hoyer. "The Political Economy of the Norwegian Press" (PDF). Tidsskrift. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- "Annual report 2012" (PDF). Schibsted Media Group. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Sigurd Allern (2002). "Journalistic and Commercial News Values. News Organizations as Patrons of an Institution and Market Actors" (PDF). Nordicom Review. 2 (2). Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- "Online Journalism Atlas: Norway". Online Journalism. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- Gibbs, Walter (27 February 2009). "Norwegian Nobel Laureate, Once Shunned, Is Now Celebrated". The New York Times. p. C1. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014.
[I]n Oslo last week . . . at the National Library was the 7 May 1945, edition of a . . . newspaper whose lead article on Hitler’s death was by Knut Hamsun. As most collaborators lay low, preparing alibis, Hamsun wrote, ‘He was a warrior, a warrior for mankind, and a prophet of the gospel of justice for all nations’.
- "Svetlichnaja and Litvinenko: Clarifications". Aftenposten. 9 December 2006. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
- Rolf Werenskjold (2008). "The Dailies in Revolt". Scandinavian Journal of History. 33 (4): 417. doi:10.1080/03468750802423094. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- "So long, farewell ...". Aftenposten. 5 November 2008. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
- "aftenposten.no Site Overview".
- Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 37–43