top of page


Le quotidien d'Oslo Aftenpost (1.3.1999) a rendu compte du débat suscité en Norvège par la parution du troisième volume de l'histoire de la radio-télévision en Norvège 

L'historien Hans Fredrik Dahl vient de publier le troisième volume de son histoire de la radiodiffusion en Norvège. Professeur en communication à l'Université d'Oslo, Hans Fredrik Dahl a publié de nombreux travaux sur l'histoire du 20ème siècle, en particulier sur la Secondue Guerre mondiale. Il est considéré comme le grand spécialiste de l'histoire du "Nasjonal Samling",  le parti collaborationiste norvégien.

L'analyse proposée dans le troisième volume (1945-1981) sur le rôle convergent des libéraux et des "radicaux" dans la critique du monopole de service public suscite un débat : les "radicaux" récusant l'idée que leur critique visait à permettre l'essor de la télévision commerciale.


Chronologie de la télévision en Norvège. (1936-1981)

The Fast Growth of the Monopoly Channel
Historical milestones in the post-war history of NRK - 
(Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), until 1981

First demonstration of television in Norway; a simple entertainment programme shown on screen in Oslo.

The number of radio receivers has been drastically reduced since the war [sic! - should probably read “during the war”, due to the impounding of radios by the nazi authorities to prevent Norwegians from “listening to London”]. 150.000 radio receivers in Norway. 150 employees of the NRK. 9 hours of daily radio transmissions.

Shorter programme formats. Lectures down to 15 or 20 minutes. First female announcer. Programbladet [“The Radio Times”] established after newspapers unwilling to print the radio schedules [free of charge].

Television first mentioned in the Board of Trustees of NRK. First trials with FM transmitter.

Kaare Fostervold leaves the government to become first Head of Broadcasting [“kringkastingssjef”]. Short wave transmitter inaugurated. Parliament decides that NRK will have a Head of Broadcasting, responsible both for programming and finances.

300 employees of the NRK. The institution has grown considerably without increases in the programme offer. First “golden age of radio”; programme quality rapidly improving. First NRK study group to research television.

Parliament recommends television trial transmissions.

First television trial transmissions.

White paper on television in Norway; some voices raised in support of television financed by advertising. Without it being publicly stated, the extensive television infrastructure is made possible by using Armed Forces radio links.

Parliamentary debate over establishment of television. First two employees of NRK-Television. Worried cinema industry lobbies successfully to have films screenings restricted to Mondays; screenings must not begin before 21:15 due to the 19:00 performance in cinemas.

First issue of “Dagsrevyen” [“The Daily Review”, i.e. television news]. Mostly cheap newsreels bought abroad. No visible anchor or commentator.

400 employees of NRK; approx. 100 in television. Annual budget increased ten-fold in ten years. Landsorganisasjonen [Norway’s TUC] proposes television-free day to let people attend meetings. First video recorders; not all programmes need be directly transmitted. The sign “Technical Malfunction” makes its first appearance. First-time events: 
[Friday night] “Detektime” [“The Detective Hour”] with “Perry Mason”. 
Hit parade. Quit or Double [quiz game].

Hans Jacob Ustvedt appointed Head of Broadcasting. First major debate over experimental television theatre, headed by Arlid Brinchmann. First plans for radio P2 [programme 2]. Radio is getting set to fight competition from television.

“Reiseradioen” [literally “The Travel Radio”, but also “The Portable Radio”] makes first appearance; a precursor of [the extremely popular morning radio programme] “Nitimen” [“Nine-ish”].

Richard Herrmann becomes first correspondent abroad. Building of television house started (finished 1969).

Fargerådet [“The Colour Council”, a paints and building materials professional association, advertising co-ordination body and lobbying group] back the first non-NRK television transmissions.

The student revolt reaches the NRK. First on-screen utterances about revolution and that violence must be employed to overturn society.  Strong criticism in the press and in NRK’s Programme Council.

Internal rows over “the objectivity ideal”, led by Andreas Skartveit and Björn Nilsen.

1700 employees of NRK, 1100 in television, 600 in radio. New, young and radical television programme “Flimra” [i.e. “The Box”] launched. Public Commission appointed to draft new Broadcasting Law, viewed as necessary to tame rebellious NRK.

Head of Broadcasting Hans Jacob Ustvedt retires after conflict with his staff.

New Head of Broadcasting Torolf Elster decides that the NRK’s coverage of the pre-EU membership plebiscite campaign should be covered as a pro-et-con issue, not following traditional election campaign lines [i.e. giving political parties proportionally equal coverage and air time]. Colour television gradually introduced - against strong opposition. Up to 1975: Radical forces extremely visible in NRK; even programmes for children and youths are criticised.

Parliament demands internal discipline; radical forces calm down.  Stable years with quality programmes and less criticism until 1981.

[Journalist and former NRK correspondent] Gidske Anderson’s article “NRK-monopolet er meningslöst” [“The Impossibility of the NRK Monopoly”] releases considerable attention. Höyre [the conservative party] and Kristelig Folkeparti [“The Christian People’s Party”] put [dissolution of] the NRK monopoly on their political agendas.

2300 employees of NRK, 1600 in television and 700 in radio.

Minister of Culture Lars Roar Langslet breaks the NRK monopoly by granting licenses to local radios and television broadcasters, and to satellite television.

Translated from Aftenposten, Oslo, 1 March 1999.

 Références bibliographiques

DAHL, Hans Fredrik, Hallo - Hallo! : kringkastingen i Norge 1920-1940. Cappelen,:Oslo,
1975. - 426 s. : ill.    ISBN 82-02-03155-9, 82-02-03156-7

DAHL, Hans Fredrik, "Dette er London" : NRK i krig 1940-1945., Cappelen, Oslo, 1978. -
416 s. : ill.   ISBN 82-02-03929-0, 82-02-03928-2

DAHL, Hans Fredrik, "Over til Oslo!" : NRKs historie 1945-1981., Cappelen, Oslo, 1999.
ISBN 82-02-17644-1

Voir également : SYVERSTEN T., "Das Rundfunksystem Norwegens" in HANS-BREDOW-INSTITUT, Internationales Handbuch für Hörfunk und Fernsehen, Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden, 1998 (="The radio and television system in Norway, in HANS-BREDOW-INSTITUT, Radio and Television Systems in Northern Europe and the Baltics, European Audiovisual Observatory, Strasbourg, 1998.) (="Le système de radio-télévision en Norvège" in HANS-BREDOW-INSTITUT, Systèmes de radio et télévision dans dans l’Europe du Nord et les Etats baltes, Observatoire européen de l’audiovisuel, Strasbourg, 1998).

 Remerciement à Nils Klevjer Aas pour la communication de l'information  et la traduction du norvégien.

Publication initiale sur "Histoire de la télévision", 1999.

bottom of page