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12 Comm. L. & Pol'y 1 (2007)

handle is hein.journals/comulp12 and id is 1 raw text is: 






COMMUNICATION LAW AND POLICY
Volume 12                Winter 2007                Number 1
Copyright © 2007 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.





THE NORWEGIAN EDITORS' CODE:
THE MAGNA CARTA OR THE KING'S
MIRROR TO BECOME PUBLIC LAW?


ASLE ROLLAND*


        In 1953, the associations of Norwegian newspaper
        owners and editors signed an agreement on the rights
        and duties of the editor: the Editors' Code. Editors
        consider it their freedom charter, a barrier not against
        government suppression, but against owner
        intervention. Since 1995, a proposal to elevate the Code
        to status of public law has been an issue on the
        Norwegian political agenda. By 2006, the main obstacle
        against legislation was finally removed: The
        Parliament amended the Norwegian Constitution's
        Section 100 on freedom of expression. The motive for the
        legislation is to protect editorial independence from
        media owners, thereby preventing monopoly control over
        the freedom of expression. However, will enactment of
        the Editors' Code really guarantee editorial
        independence, and will editorial independence prevent
        monopoly control over the freedom of expression? The
        answer to both questions is no.

  Controlling the controllers is a classic liberal-democratic dilemma.
Can the state control the media without undermining the media's
ability to control the state? Will state interference in the relation be-
tween media owners and editors enhance editorial freedom or, alter-
natively, provide a new means of restricting that freedom? Will the
freedom of editors enhance or restrict the freedom of expression?


  *Senior adviser at Statistics Norway and researcher at the Center for Me-
dia Economics, the Norwegian School of Management.

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