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Is There a Nordic News Media System?: A descriptive comparative analysis of Nordic news audiences



In media systems theory, the Nordic countries are often held to constitute a specific media system (Brüggemann et al., 2014). In this article, we put this claim to the test in the area of news consumption. Based on findings about the four Nordic countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland in the annual Reuters Institute Digital News Report (Newman et al., 2019), and inspired by previous studies of the audience dimension of media systems (Hölig et al., 2016; Peruško et al., 2015; Van Damme et al., 2017), we undertake a descriptive empirical analysis of the 2019 data of this 38-country study. Our study compares news audience practices in the Nordic countries with those of countries belonging to other supranational media systems. We find that while there are some internal differences within the Nordic media system, there are salient news consumption commonalities that are specific to the Nordic countries, such as preferred sources of news, pathways to news, paying for online news, and trust in the news.