The field of media is in a state of rapid change. The motor of the development is the ever-improving technology for transmitting and receiving mediated content. With the new information and communication technologies (or ICTs), traditional borders – between geographical markets as well as between media forms – are being erased. National media markets appear to be merging into a single marketplace, dominated by multinational actors like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Indeed, the development has provided the modern citizen with a whole new pallet of global media content, with a richness and diversity unknown to previous generations of media consumers. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, the world is just a click away – and small enough to be carried around in one’s back pocket.
As exciting as this new media landscape may be for the contemporary media consumer, however, it also raises concerns regarding the greater impact on modern society.
Traditional national and local news media are suffering from razor-sharp competition with new online actors. The penetration of traditional news media is dropping and the number of journalists is declining in most Western countries. The ramifications of the new borderless media landscape are indeed fundamental, affecting all aspects of society, from the activities of the individual media consumer, via the plethora of media companies fighting for market shares, to the fundamental principles of representative democracy.
The current report presents a comparative analysis of the news media industries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden – that is, the Nordic countries.