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Modernising freedom of speech: the case of Article 100 of the Norwegian Constitution

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In 2004, the Norwegian Parliament amended Article 100 of the Constitution, replacing freedom of print with freedom of expression. This article argues that the purpose of the amendment was not to expand freedom of speech, but to protect the state and political parties against the growing power of a non-partisan media system and of a new type of political party capable of exploiting the politically emancipated media for its purpose. As the amendment may cause government failure, the article suggests that in a political system based on the exploitation of independent media, the Constitution will once more be amended, giving more responsibility to the media and returning the responsibility of the state to that of correcting market failure.
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Keywords: Constitution; Norway; freedom of expression; freedom of print; media and politics; media commercialisation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Social Statistics, Statistics Norway, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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