UiB Awarded NOK 2 Million To Establish Centre for Investigative Journalism

Published 24.10.2017
– It is encouraging that the importance of Investigative Journalism gets recognized, says Leif Ove Larsen.

Fritt Ord has allocated up to NOK 100 million over a four-year period to support robust Norwegian journalism projects, through a new initiative called 'Norwegian Journalism'. After a successful application, The Department of Information Science and Media Studies at University of Bergen has been awarded NOK 2 million over a four-year period to establish a Centre for Investigative Journalism. 

Focus on Investigative Journalism
Dept. Head of the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, Leif Ove Larsen, is pleased to receive the grant.

– This grant is proof that this is a credible project. It certainly has gained Fritt Ord’s interest, and I believe the idea of a Centre for Investigative Journalism ticked plenty of their boxes. It is encouraging that the importance of Investigative Journalism gets recognized and is high on the agenda. I believe the Centre can be a key factor in establishing an important and leading environment for Investigative Journalism both on a national and international level, Larsen says, and continues:  

– The University of Bergen has always had a strong focus on Investigative Journalism, and in recent years we have taken strategic action to ensure our position in the field, Larsen says, referring to the Institute's recently established Master’s Programme in Investigative Journalism in Media City Bergen.

– The University takes responsibility
Centres of Investigative Journalism around the world are often closely connection to universities, and Larsen wants the University of Bergen to take the lead in this field.

– As an important actor in the society, the University of Bergen will take responsibility for raising competence in important methodologies as Investigative Journalism. With the acquired funds from this grant, the University also has extra resources to make a significant effort to raise attention and lift competence within the field. This Centre will serve as a significant resource for our journalism students, Larsen says, adding that the project also has been funded by Sparebanken Vest.

Early days
The Centre of Investigative Journalism, which will be established in Bergen, is currently in the planning stages as The University is developing concepts and guidelines for use.
– We have a been in dialogue with other centres and media houses in the process, and they have provided valuable input as well as helped us pinpoint some of the challenges that Investigative Journalism is facing today. The project is still in an early phase, but the funds gives us the opportunity to create a thorough plan for the development of the Centre, Larsen concludes.

Fritt Ord's 'Norwegian Journalism'-initiative:

- Fritt Ord allocates NOK 100 million over a four-year period to promote journalism-related projects.

- Open scheme with no constraints. “The journalists, editors and editorial communities themselves are completely free to define their own initiatives.”

- Amongst other successful applicants were SKUP (Stiftelsen for en Kritisk og Undersøkende Presse), and Broen.xyz, member of the Media Cluster.