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Etableringen av pressen som næring i Norge 1875–1900

f. 1949, mag.art. i statsvitenskap 1979, seniorforsker i Statistisk sentralbyrå.

asle.rolland@ssb.no

  • Side: 365-390
  • Publisert på Idunn: 2011-09-23
  • Publisert: 2011-09-23

Norsk avishistorie startet før 1660. Det viser verket Norsk presses historie 1660–2010. Norsk pressehistorie startet etter 1875. Det viser Statistisk sentralbyrås folketellinger. Denne artikkel drøfter hva begge deler innebærer. Artikkelen har to siktemål. For det første søker den å påvise at pressens historie må forstås som næringens historie, og avishistorien forut for næringsetableringen som pressens forhistorie. For det andre søker den å demonstrere hva som kan oppnås av ny pressehistorisk innsikt ved å flytte oppmerksomheten fra produkt til produsent, fra publikasjon til organisasjon. Dette gjøres gjennom en diskusjon av forutsetningene for og konsekvensene av pressens hamskifte fra attåtnæring til næring.

The foundation of the newspaper industry in Norway 1875–1900

The point of departure of this article is the recently published History of the Norwegian Press 1660-2010, a work that defines newspapers as publications and employs two types of criteria, form and content, to determine whether or not newspapers qualify as publications. The article notes that the criteria are used differently to determine the origin of the Norwegian press and the number of newspapers – the former determined by content, the latter by form. A demand that publications must fulfil both criteria would thus alter the history of the newspaper. The article’s main objective, however, is in examining the origin of the newspapers as firms, and hence their transformation from being the publications of other industries into that of becoming their own industry. As an indicator of industrial development, the article uses occupational status in the four censuses carried out between 1866 and 1900, the main source of statistics on industry in Norway at that time. The study shows that in this period the newspaper industry was almost exclusive to the capital, but around 1900 it had sufficiently spread into the provinces that the claim of being a nationwide industry could be warranted. The article notes that the foundation of the newspaper industry coincided with the introduction of political parties and transformation of the newspapers into a party press, thus indicating that there was no conflict between the political and commercial aims of the newspapers, as apparently it was their political branding that enabled them to professionalize their staff and develop into an industry. For the political parties, however, making themselves dependent on the newspaper industry could produce significant organizational and political changes.

Keywords: census, newspaper industry, press and politics, press history
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