Clouds in sight
For years Norway has rested permanently in the upper echelons in the rankings of democracy and freedom of expression. Nevertheless the government has recently mandated a commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the conditions for freedom of the speech. Its members are asked to consider measures to promote the broadest possible participation in the public debate, and means to hamper the spread of fake news and hate speech. They are specifically requested to look into how to safeguard journalists safety, as a precondition for medias watchdog function, and to what extent threats and incitement can lead to self-censorship. The Police Security Service has in their yearly threat assessment pointed out that government hatred, harassment, personal exposure and threatening statements against individuals on social media have become commonplace.
Simultaneously a civil initiative is organised to get rid of §185 in the Penal Code. The underwriters of the petition claims the wording in the paragraph, which aims to prevent discriminatory and hateful statements, is so vaguely worded that an uncertainty persists as to where the limit of freedom of expression goes.
In one of the more spectacular initiatives lately the nations most read news outlet, VG, together with the Association of Norwegian Editors and the Journalists Union, has sued the Attorney General for denying access to documents in a case regarding police handling of guns. The representatives of the news media claims the Prosecution Authority upheld unacceptable obstacles to hinder them to examine how the police manage their power, and that the case is at the very core of medias control function.
1 in 2019
7.82 in 2019