Media literacy in Norway

by Sølve Kuraas Karlsen, Tenk, Norway.

Following the 2016 US election, there was a marked increase in concern regarding the dissemination of false information within public discourse. In Norway this led to a unique cooperation between six of the largest media outlets that normally compete. Norway has only 5,5 million inhabitants, so the potential audience is small compared to the high cost for fact checking.


At the same time the need for media literacy in schools evolved as well. As an organization the school system is conservative. It takes time to establish new knowledge, and by the time an updated insight of media literacy reaches the classroom, it is already old news. That was the reason that many schools reached out for Faktisk and asked us to share our knowledge about fact checking and fake news. The problem was that even though the journalists were great fact checkers, they had a hard time reaching out to youth in a classroom. This is why Tenk, established in 2019, was built around three teachers.

Today Tenk has six employees and develops lesson plans and teaching material for schools all over Norway shared through our webpage A fundamental guiding principle in all content developed by Tenk is its alignment with specific objectives outlined in the curriculum. By doing this, media literacy is introduced as a tool to teach any subject, and not another topic to introduce for teachers.

Working with libraries

Right from the start Tenk staff members were asked to visit libraries all around Norway. Even though Norway is a small country, there are many libraries to cover. In fact there are more than 2500 librarians connected to over 400 libraries. They are highly dedicated workers that are motivated to build local networks with knowledge about how to navigate the information landscape. Tenk staff members travelled to many libraries where they were able to arrange workshops and events.

To support librarians, Tenk created a webpage where we shared resources they could use for free to arrange local events.  Tenk managed to visit many libraries, but the demand seemed to be endless. The knowledge about media literacy has to be updated all the time. This led to the project “The search for facts” . This is a digital exhibition developed together with the main library in Bergen, the second largest city of Norway.

The exhibition

“The search for facts” is created for libraries and aimed at young people aged between 15 and 19 years old. The exhibition contains five screens and a short media literacy course. Before visitors start their tour a short video sets the scene. Prior to the exhibition’s opening, it reached full capacity, with over 700 young attendees visiting within the span of a month.

The five screens address a specific topic connected to media literacy. The first screen is called “the tower”. This is the “check-in” and “check-out” station. Here, visitors retrieve a small brick where their data were stored. After visitors finished the exhibition they got a visual diagram showing how they scored. The four other screens contained tasks addressing  four topics connected to Media literacy: Fact checking, Algorithms, Agenda and AI. A bot challenges visitors to decide what is fake or what is false. The exhibition also confronts the nuanced challenge that merely categorizing content as either authentic or fabricated may not always suffice. The whole exhibition is connected to Tenk so the examples and questions could be easily updated.

Connected with the exhibition, Tenk developed a short media literacy course for librarians. Together with the librarian webpage this provided both knowledge, tools and learning materials so librarians could be empowered to host visits from school classes.


Based on the work with “The search for facts”, Tenk is now developing an online course for librarians in Norway financed by the National Library. As a part of this course, Tenk will create a certification so  libraries could call themselves “Media literacy libraries”. The first module will be out in January 2025 and the goal is to reach at least 40% of all librarians in Norway. In the end the course will consist of five modules. This will be a significant empowerment of librarians and libraries, but it is also an important work to build resilience in the population against mis- and disinformation.

As the world continues to grapple with the consequences of significant news events on the information landscape, free access to information through libraries remains crucial. By equipping librarians with updated knowledge and tools related to media literacy, the collaboration between Tenk and Norway’s libraries is a concrete measure for combating the spread of false information and promoting informed public discourse.


Sølve Kuraas Karlsen, Tenk, Norway.