Employee Profile

Ragnhild Kristine Olsen

Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Communication and Culture


Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine; Solvoll, Mona K & Futsæter, Knut Arne (2022)

Gatekeepers as Safekeepers—Mapping Audiences’ Attitudes towards News Media’s Editorial Oversight Functions during the COVID-19 Crisis

Journalism and Media, 3(1), s. 182- 197. Doi: 10.3390/journalmedia3010014 - Full text in research archive

This study investigates people’s attitudes towards news media’s role as gatekeepers during the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, this concerns news media’s quality control and the selection of the most important news about the pandemic, as well as the provision of useful information and knowledge about the virus and its implications. Challenging research that has questioned the very idea of journalistic gatekeeping in hybrid media systems, we set out to explore people’s attitudes towards news media’s gatekeeper functions during a crisis, when the need for reliable and relevant information is extraordinarily high and the information environment is flooded with disinformation. In this situation, news media gatekeepers could serve as safekeepers that protect the population. Based on a national survey in Norway (N = 1024), a country characterized by high levels of trust in social institutions, including the national press, the study finds that people were generally supportive of news media’s gatekeeper functions amid the pandemic. However, there were noteworthy demographic differences. Older people, women, and those who were more highly educated showed more positive attitudes towards news media’s gatekeeping. Moreover, we found lower support for news media’s gatekeeping in the group who trusted alternative, right-wing news media.

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine; Olsen, Gunhild Ring & Røsok-Dahl, Heidi (2022)

Unpacking Value Creation Dynamics in Journalism Education. A Covid-19 Case Study

Journalism Practice, s. 1- 19. Doi: 10.1080/17512786.2022.2043767 - Full text in research archive

The physical closure of universities and university colleges due to Covid-19 has accelerated the digitalization of journalism teaching to a record speed. The pandemic, and the severe restrictions on-campus attendance, radically altered J schools’ value proposition to their students, turning the teaching of practical journalistic skills primarily into a forced blended learning experience. This study, through proposing a conceptual model for unpacking value creation dynamics in journalism education, explores this shift and how journalism students responded to it. We find, through applying the model to a multiplatform journalism course at the bachelor level, that the online teaching environment was experienced as being inferior to physical teaching, despite the availability of flexible digital learning resources that students could use at their convenience. Ample opportunities for online interaction between students and teachers were not a satisfactory substitute for physical campus teaching. This study questions how, based on this, face-to-face interaction between journalism students and teachers best can be replaced, especially in terms of creating a safe learning environment and facilitating students’ learning by doing.

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine (2021)

Brukerbetaling i lokalaviser – en trussel for bruksmangfold og lokaldemokrati?

Gran, Anne-Britt & Røssaak, Eivind (red.). Mangfold i spill: Digitalisering av kultur og medier i Norge

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine (2021)

The Value of Local News in the Digital Realm–Introducing the Integrated Value Creation Model

Digital Journalism, 9(6), s. 810- 834. Doi: 10.1080/21670811.2021.1912623

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine; Kalsnes, Bente & Barland, Jens (2021)

Do Small Streams Make a Big River? Detailing the Diversification of Revenue Streams in Newspapers’ Transition to Digital Journalism Businesses

Digital Journalism, s. 1- 23. Doi: 10.1080/21670811.2021.1973905

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine; Pickard, Victor & Westlund, Oscar (2020)

Communal News Work: COVID-19 Calls for Collective Funding of Journalism

Digital Journalism, 8(5), s. 673- 680. Doi: 10.1080/21670811.2020.1763186 - Full text in research archive

It is widely held that journalism, journalists and news all play important roles for democracy and an informed citizenry. News publishers have journalistic authority and are oftentimes seen as one of the most important knowledge-producing institutions in society, routinely carrying out epistemic practices that strive towards producing verified and reliable news about public affairs. The COVID-19 pandemic has forcefully reminded us about this vital information function of the news media, with a surge in traffic to mobile applications and news sites around the world. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is simultaneously crushing the advertising business that plays such a vital role in funding news production. This commentary argues that many journalistic institutions - particularly on the local level - currently face an existential crisis, one that calls for immediate and collective action. With a normative desire of saving journalism, we put forward that society should engage in what we refer to as communal news work as an attempt to financially sustain journalism during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and well into the future.

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine (2020)

Understanding the relationship people in their early adulthood have to small-town news and paywalls

Journalism - Theory, Practice & Criticism, 21(4), s. 507- 523. Doi: 10.1177/1464884919886438 - Full text in research archive

Within the context of a high-choice, digital media environment, this study explores how people in their early adulthood perceive the value of news from the small town where they reside and their attitude towards paying for it. Based on qualitative data from in-depth interviews and a media landscape sorting exercise, the study demonstrates how those willing and unwilling to pay differ in terms of lived and anticipated value experiences with small-town newspapers. The study posits that there is a misalignment, for them personally and for the local community, with regard to their perception of small-town news media’s value. What might not be important for them as individuals is nonetheless experienced as important for the society they live in. The study expands on studies of perceived worthwhileness of news media in a small-town context and introduces the concept of societal worthwhileness to encompass media users’ incorporation of collective interests in their value assessment of news media

Olsen, Ragnhild (2019)

Connecting People? Understanding Media’s Role as Democratic Resources for People in Digitally Advanced Local Environments

Digital Journalism Doi: 10.1080/21670811.2019.1679029 - Full text in research archive

Communication abundance in the digital sphere has raised concern over audience fragmentation and the declining capacity of general news media to shape common experiences and promote shared discourses required by a well-functioning local democracy. Based on the concept of mediated public connection this paper offers an analytical framework to investigate how people orient themselves to a local public world through media in high-choice, digitally advanced information environments. Two analytical dimensions of people’s media use – practice and perception – are tested on survey data from Norway (N = 1692) using a network analysis approach combined with media experience data. The study finds substantial convergence in use of different online and offline media with the largest audience overlap occurring between online local and regional newspapers and Facebook. These digital players represent the backbone of the local media environment under study. Overall, citizens’ experiences with different media as democratic resources for their local public life are not very strong and weaker for online media than for their offline editions.

Frey, Elsebeth; Olsen, Ragnhild & Giannoumis, G. Anthony (2019)

Exploring Journalism and Computer Science Student Collaboration A Norwegian case study

Nordicom Review, 40(2), s. 129- 142. Doi: 10.2478/nor-2019-0037

Olsen, Ragnhild; Kammer, Aske & Solvoll, Mona K (2019)

Paywalls? Impact on Local News Websites? Traffic and Their Civic and Business Implications

Journalism Studies Doi: 10.1080/1461670X.2019.1633946 - Full text in research archive

In an attempt to manage a looming revenue crisis in their transition from print to digital, many local newspapers have implemented user payment (paywalls) in their online editions. This paper asks what the business and civic implications of such introduction of user payment are. Comparing audience metrics on a sample of eight local news websites (four Norwegian, four Danish) for 52 weeks before and after paywall introduction, this study finds that the numbers of both pageviews and unique visitors decrease upon the transition from free to fee-based access to the news. Hard paywalls have a more negative immediate effect on traffic than soft paywalls. This difference equalizes over time and the traffic mainly remains at a decreased level regardless of paywall type. Traffic development in Norway is somewhat better than in Denmark in a short-term perspective, but national differences also even out over time. We posit that while paywalls may constitute a new revenue stream for local news media under financial pressure, they also challenge the civic function of the local news media since fewer people consult them.

Olsen, Ragnhild & Solvoll, Mona K (2018)

Bouncing off the Paywall – Understanding Misalignments Between Local Newspaper Value Propositions and Audience Responses

JMM - The International Journal on Media Management, s. 174- 192. Doi: 10.1080/14241277.2018.1529672

Olsen, Ragnhild & Solvoll, Mona K (2018)

Reinventing the business model for local newspapers by building walls

Journal of Media Business Studies, 15(1), s. 24- 41. Doi: 10.1080/16522354.2018.1445160 - Full text in research archive

Using a business model lens, we analyse local newspapers’ paywall strategies and ask how monetisation has affected the newspapers’ offerings to users and advertisers. Based on interviews with 20 local newspapers in Norway, findings suggest that paywalls represent two different strategies: A brake strategy in the user market, whereby the newspaper targets existing customers with bundled and differentiated products to secure subscription revenue and protect print from web cannibalisation. In addition, an acceleration strategy, in the advertiser market, focused on improving services with more relevant and valuable audiences and user behaviour insights from user data harvesting. Local newspapers have been relatively successful with balancing these two strategies, providing some optimism on paywalls’ potential contribution to the funding of local journalism.

Olsen, Ragnhild (2015)

Relevans og kundeorientering som redaksjonell kvalitetsnorm

Vaagan, Robert Wallace & Barland, Jens (red.). Entreprenørskap og ledelse i media

Olsen, Ragnhild (2012)

Redaksjonell kvalitet. Kvalitetssikring, evaluering og måling av journalistikk


Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine & Solvoll, Mona K (2021)

Kronikk: Koronaslitasje, medier og tillit

M24 [Fagblad]

Olsen, Ragnhild (2019)

Lokalavis anno 2019: Hvor viktige er egentlig lokalavisene for folk flest

Medietilsynets podcast. Den norske mediepodden [Internett]

Solvoll, Mona K; Olsen, Ragnhild & Gran, Anne-Britt (2018)

NRK + lokalaviser = sant?

NRK [Kronikk]

Solvoll, Mona K; Gran, Anne-Britt & Olsen, Ragnhild (2018)

Det gis inntrykk av at 40 prosent av befolkningen bruker NRK på nett mer etter et betalings­murene kom. Men det er ikke riktig

Medier24 [Kronikk]

Olsen, Ragnhild (2017)

Knuser Facebook lokalavisene?


Olsen, Ragnhild; Bech-Karlsen, Jo & Hjeltnes, Guri (2010)

Kanalvalgets kvaler

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Olsen, Ragnhild (2010)

Ny hverdag, nye krav

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Olsen, Ragnhild (2010)

Balansegang i nytt landskap

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Olsen, Ragnhild; Bech-Karlsen, Jo & Hjeltnes, Guri (2007)

Kommer nett og papir til å møtes?

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Gran, Anne-Britt; Olsen, Ragnhild & Solvoll, Mona K (1)

NRK konkurrer i liten grad ut lokale nettaviser https://www.dn.no/avisen/dn_2018-03-20/29

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine; Olsen, Gunhild Ring & Røsok-Dahl, Heidi (2022)

Unpacking value co-creation in blended learning journalism courses. A Covid-19 case study

[Academic lecture]. 72nd Annual ICA Conference (One World, One Network?).

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine (2021)

Ett mediestöd som sätter värdesamskapande och användare i centrum

Truedson, Lars & Nord, Lars (red.). Snigeln och haren – så kan mediepolitiken komma ikapp medieutvecklingen

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine; Solvoll, Mona K & Booth, Peter (2021)

Thumbs-up to trust? Understanding users’ relationship to Facebook and local news media (Use and trust in local media before and during the pandemic: What local newspapers could learn)

[Academic lecture]. 8th ECREA ECC conference Communication and Trust.

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine & Furseth, Peder Inge (2021)

Innovation capacity and ability among local newspapers during the corona crisis

[Academic lecture]. Emma Conference 2021.

Sjøvaag, Helle; Ferrer-Conill, Raul & Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine (2021)

Mapping Norway's digital infrastructures: Actors, value streams and policy in the platform ecology

[Academic lecture]. Emma2021 Media Management and Sustainability.

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine; Olsen, Gunhild Ring & Røsok-Dahl, Heidi (2021)

Unpacking value co-creation in blended learning journalism courses. A COVID-19 case study

[Academic lecture]. NordMedia 2021.

Olsen, Ragnhild (2021)

Trust in news media and non-mainstream news sources amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

[Academic lecture]. Trust me!: Truthfulness and Truth Claims across Media.

Olsen, Ragnhild & Solvoll, Mona K (2019)

Thumbs-up to trust? Understanding users’ relationship to Facebook’s trustworthiness as local news source

[Academic lecture]. Countering online disinformation: An interdisciplinary and network-building symposium.

Olsen, Ragnhild (2019)

Fragmented or connected? Understanding the nature of local news consumption and the implication it has for local media’s democratic role

[Academic lecture]. The 69th Annual ICA Conference.

Olsen, Ragnhild (2019)

For what it is worth.The dynamics of local journalism’s value creation for audiences, newspapers and society

[Academic lecture]. Future of Journalism conference 2019.

Olsen, Ragnhild (2019)

Understanding the relationship people in their early adulthood have to small-town news and paywalls

[Academic lecture]. Behind the paywall 2019 conference.

Olsen, Ragnhild (2018)

Understanding young adults’ relationship to small town news and paywalls

[Academic lecture]. Norsk medieforskerkonferanse 2018.

Olsen, Ragnhild; Solvoll, Mona K & Kammer, Aske (2018)

Civic and business implications of paywalls for local newspapers

[Academic lecture]. 7th European Communication Conference ECREA 2018.

Olsen, Ragnhild; Solvoll, Mona K & Gran, Anne-Britt (2018)

Medier & Demokrati-rapport 2018:1

[Report]. Medier & Demokrati Lindholmen Science Park.

Svensk rapport utarbeidet av Medier & Demokrati-prosjektet ved Lindholmen Science Park, Gøteborg,

Olsen, Ragnhild; Solvoll, Mona K & Gran, Anne-Britt (2018)

Digitalisering av lokalt mediebruk. DnD-rapport 1

[Report]. Centre for Creative Industries.

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine (2017)

THUMBS UP TO TRUST? Understanding users’ relationship to algorithmic filtering and Facebook’s trustworthiness as local news source

[Academic lecture]. Future of Journalism 2017, Cardiff Sep. 14-15: TRUST AND THE MEDIA.

As local newspapers are struggling to secure revenue streams and fund their journalistic production, Facebook is taking a prominent position as local news source by providing personalized news feeds based on algorithmic filtering. Given local newspapers’ civic role as providers of trustworthy information this paper explores Facebook’s potential to fill this role by mapping user trust and attitudes towards algorithmic filtering. Based on a national survey in Norway (N=1586) this survey identifies a substantial gap between trust and use of Facebook, particularly among young people, and general scepticism towards algorithmic filtering

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine (2017)

Global giants, local liaisons – Diversity of local media experiences and policy implications

[Academic lecture]. NoPSA 2017 XVIII Nordic Political Science Congress, The 2nd European Symposium on Media Policy.

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine & Solvoll, Mona K (2017)

The Potential of Paywalls to Attract New Subscribers? Business Models in Local Online Norwegian Newspapers

[Academic lecture]. EMMA 2017.

The topic of this paper is the introduction of paywalls in ultra local online newspapers. Our analysis apply a double lens approach: First, we investigate what value proposition the newspapers offer, based on interviews with commercial leaders in 20 Norwegian local newspapers. Second, we explore how users received this value proposition in terms of attitude and use, based on national survey data from 1586 respondents among local media users. Our findings suggest that the newspapers apply a problematic preservation strategy as valuable customers, such as young segments, do not subscribe to the newspapers and are locked out by the paywall. Other customers who have access to paywalled content, such as older print subscribers, have reduced the time spent on reading online local news. Online local news is not perceived as valuable, niche content worth paying for, despite overall high news interest. We argue the paywall is a shortsighted defensive, business model innovation, which drives away younger readers and pave the road for substitute offerings. These findings give cause for concern as a thinner use of local newspapers may result in a less informed local citizenry.

Olsen, Ragnhild Kristine (2016)

Reinventing Business Models for Newspapers by Building Walls

[Academic lecture]. Medieforskerkonferansen 2016.

Olsen, Ragnhild (2015)

Kun for dine øyne - Personalisering av redaksjonelt innhold i nettaviser

Hornmoen, Harald; Roksvold, Thore & Alnæs, Jørgen (red.). Individet i journalistikken

Barland, Jens & Olsen, Ragnhild (2015)

Innholdsmarkedsføring testet på lesere av nettaviser

[Report]. Høgskolen i Gjøvik.

Vi oppsummerer denne pilotstudien med følgende observasjoner fra samtalen i lesergruppen: • De forholder seg til at medier inneholder både journalistikk og reklame, og skjelner mellom disse når journalistikk og reklame fremstår på tradisjonelt vis. • Tradisjonell reklame leses som reklame, og dette leses på en annen måte enn øvrig innhold. Det leses som kjøpsbudskap. Dette leses med skepsis, men blir også oppfattet som positivt når man er interessert i temaet. • Innholdsmarkedsføring oppleves som mindre «masete» enn tradisjonell reklame. Leserne ga uttrykk for at de likte enkelte av eksemplene med innholdsmarkedsføring, og at den kommersielle samarbeidspartneren kunne være relevant med hensyn til temaet. Denne innholdsmarkedsføringen trigget ikke «reklamefiltrene» leserne selv hadde sagt de hadde. • Reklame som kan se ut som journalistikk, blir forvekslet med journalistikk. Det skjer ikke alltid, men det forekommer. • Selv for reklameinnhold som er tydelig merket, kan det bli forvekslet med journalistikk, slik som i eksemplet med VG Partnerstudio og Rema 1000. Der tok det lang tid før dette ble oppfattet som reklame selv om merkingen var tydelig. • Det brukes mange ulike merker for å vise at noe er kommersielt innhold. I sum blir dette uoversiktlig og utydelig for leserne. • Det er forskjell på hvordan merkelappene fungerer overfor leserne. Eksempler på merking som blir oppfattet som reklame er når det står «annonse» eller ord avledet av dette. Det gjelder også «kommersiell markedsføring» og også ikonet av handlevognen. Eksempler på ord som ikke uten videre oppfattes som reklame er merking som inneholder ord som «samarbeid», «partner» eller lignende. • Effekten av ulik merking fremstår som et spesielt interessant spørsmål videre, alternativt også å undersøke om det er andre virkemidler enn merking alene som gjør det tydelig om stoff med innholdsmarkedsføring er reklame. • Forbruker- og livsstilstoff assosieres med reklame selv om det ikke er for bestemte produkter. De gjenspeiler at mediene på disse felt leses som materielle produkter. Noen stoffområder oppfattes som kommersielle, uavhengig av merking. Det var tilfellet med eksemplene Nettavisen Reisetips og Aftenposten Reise. Sistnevnte er journalistisk, men ble lest som kommersielt innhold.

Barland, Jens & Olsen, Ragnhild (2015)

Hvordan oppfatter leserne innholdsmarkedsføring?

[Academic lecture]. Gull & Gråstein.

Olsen, Ragnhild; Omdal, Sven Egil, Bjerke, Paul & bjartnes, anders (2013)

Journalistikk og demokrati. Hvor går mediene? Hva kan gjøres?

[Report]. Fritt Ord.

Olsen, Ragnhild (2010)

På nett med fremtiden

[Popular scientific article]. SKUP 1990-2010

Olsen, Ragnhild; Bech-Karlsen, Jo & Hjeltnes, Guri (2010)

Mediehusrapporten 2010. Rapport fra ti norske mediehus.

[Report]. Handelshøyskolen BI og Institutt for Journalistikk.

Olsen, Ragnhild (2009)

Innovasjon - den store utfordringen i mediehuset

[Popular scientific article]. Redaktørinstituttets status 2009 Årbok fra Norsk Redaktørforening

Olsen, Ragnhild (2006)

Måling av redaksjonell kvalitet. Verktøykasse for kvalitetsmåling i pressen

[Report]. Institutt for Journalistikk.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
1996 University of Oslo Master
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2016 - Present BI Norwegian Business School PhD Candidate