Background

The Fritt Ord Foundation was established in 1974 by Narvesens Kioskkompani, a family owned company, to secure an independent distribution of the printed word.


Mission

To protect and promote the freedom of expression, and the environment for the freedom of expression in Norway; to support other aspects of Norwegian Culture, primarily those dealing with free speech; and, in special cases, to promote the freedom of expression in other countries.

Geographic focus

Norway and Europe

Programme areas

The foundation manages funds for projects within the areas of :


• Media and Democracy

• Information and Public Debate

• Grants and Training

• Art and Culture


Media and Democracy

Promotes freedom of expression, and knowledge about media trends and their social consequences. The foundation also supports diverse programme production and alternative modes of organisation as means of enriching the cultural environment.


Information and Public Debate

Promotes access to books, documentary films, lectures, seminars and conferences as means of determining the level of knowledge in society-at-large and at the same time providing fora for lively debates. The foundation operates three prizes on the theme of freedom of expression:


• The Freedom of Expression Prize is awarded to individuals or institutions engaged in activities deemed especially worthwhile within the foundation’s key interests

• The Freedom of Expression Tribute is awarded to individuals in acknowledgement of efforts made to promote free speech, often in connection with current affairs

• The Freedom of Expression Foundation’s Press Prize for Russia and Eastern Europe: The Fritt Ord Foundation, and the ZEIT Foundation cooperate to award press prizes to journalists and media in Russia and Eastern Europe. The press prizes are intended to support the independent role of journalists, despite reprisals and financial difficulties, to encourage them not to be intimidated by censorship and to resist self-censorship.


Grants and Training

Supports young people taking part in social debate and gaining awareness of the importance of freedom of expression. The foundation offers grants to students at colleges and universities who question issues related to freedom of expression, human rights and democracy building, and supports initiatives which promote social awareness and the exchange of ideas.


Art and Culture

Supports catalogues, initiatives for exchanging opinions and cross-cultural dialogue in connection with artistic expressions and debate on cultural policy. As part of its promotion of the freedom of expression, the foundation operates a youth writing competition inviting young people between the ages of 12 and 20 to explore the constraints that have been put on the media and arts throughout history.