Aftenposten

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Aftenposten
Aftenposten logo.svg
Aftenposten 2. januar 1879- framside.JPG
The front page from the 2nd of January 1879.
Type Daily newspaper
Format Compact
Owner(s) Schibsted
Editor Espen Egil Hansen
Founded 14 May 1860 (1860-05-14)
Political alignment Liberal conservative
Language Norwegian
Headquarters Oslo, Norway
Website www.aftenposten.no

Aftenposten (Norwegian for "The Evening Post") is Norway's largest newspaper. It retook this position in 2010, taking it from the tabloid Verdens Gang which had been the largest newspaper for several decades. It is based in Oslo. The morning edition, which is distributed across all of Norway, had a readership of 658,000 in 2013.[1] In addition, the paper had an evening edition, which was only distributed to the populous central eastern part of Norway. The evening edition was taken into the morning edition in 2013. Aftenposten has a long tradition of serious journalism, and is by many considered to be the leading Norwegian newspaper. Strong competition in a shrinking market has made the paper opt for a broader appeal, however, as signified by the conversion from broadsheet to compact format in March 2005.[2][3]

Aftenposten's online edition, Aftenposten.no, averages more than 78 million page views per month.

Aftenposten is a private company wholly owned by the public company Schibsted ASA.[4] The paper has approximately 740 employees. Espen Egil Hansen is editor-in-chief as of 2014.

History and profile[edit]

Aftenposten was founded by Christian Schibsted on 14 May 1860[5] 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.[6]

Historically, Aftenposten labelled itself as "independent, conservative",[5] most closely aligning their editorial platform with the Norwegian conservative party, Høyre. This manifested itself in blunt anti-communism during the inter-war 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.[5][7] In the late 1980s Egil Sundar served as the editor-in-chief and attempted to transform the paper into a nationally distributed newspaper.[8] However, he was forced to resign from his post due to his attempt.[8]

Editions[edit]

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"). There are eight versions of this edition, each subscriber receives the version which is most relevant to the area in which he or she lives. In areas that are 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 3 days a week, Tuesday to Thursday.

Aftenposten started its online edition in 1995.[9]

Controversies[edit]

Aftenposten has not received the amount of lawsuits and attention from the Norwegian Press Complaints Commission that some of the larger tabloids have. However, there are exceptions. 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.[10] Aftenposten eventually had to apologize, and pay Svetlichnaja's legal costs.

Editorial line[edit]

Aftenposten has a conservative stance and supported the political party Hoyre[11] until the breakdown of party press system in the country.[4] Following this the paper redefined itself as an independent centre-right.[4]

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.

Language[edit]

True to its conservative line, Aftenposten is published in a very conservative form of the Norwegian written language called 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 official Norwegian language council Norsk språkråd. As such it is not an officially accepted norm for Norwegian written language. 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 repeated criticism for its very 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, and was one of the favourite sources for Norwegian news in English amongst the Norwegian diaspora, people of Norwegian descent who live abroad (e.g. in the USA), and others with an interest in Norway. To cut costs, Aftenposten stopped publishing English-language stories in early November 2008. Archives of past material are still available online.[12]

Circulation[edit]

Aftenposten (morning paper)[edit]

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

Aften (evening paper)[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Readership of Norwegian print newspapers 2013 Media Norway ©2014
  2. ^ Ingrid Brekke (4 May 2013): Tabloid i form, men ikke i sjel (Norwegian) Aftenposten, Retrieved 14 June 2013
  3. ^ "Norway: leading daily's successful switch to compact". Editors Weblog. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c 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. 
  5. ^ a b c Bernard A. Cook (2001). Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 935. ISBN 978-0-8153-4058-4. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Svennik Hoyer. "The Political Economy of the Norwegian Press" (PDF). Tidsskrift. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Annual report 2012" (PDF). Schibsted Media Group. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  8. ^ a b 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. 
  9. ^ "Online Journalism Atlas: Norway". Online Journalism. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Svetlichnaja and Litvinenko: Clarifications". Aftenposten. 9 December 2006. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
  11. ^ Rolf Werenskjold (2008). "The Dailies in Revolt". Scandinavian Journal of History 33 (4). doi:10.1080/03468750802423094. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "So long, farewell ...". Aftenposten. 5 November 2008. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 37-43

External links[edit]