Bylaws for NRK AS
Articles of Association of Norsk rikskringkasting AS.
Laid down by the statutory General Meeting of 30 April 1996, last amended by the General Meeting of 29 June 2009.
Publisert 13.11.2007 15:02. Oppdatert 08.04.2010 13:44.
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I Organisational provisions, etc.
Article 1 The name of the Corporation.
The name of the Corporation shall be Norsk rikskringkasting AS (NRK) [the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation].
Article 2 The registered office of the Corporation.
The registered office of the Corporation shall be located in Oslo.
Article 3 The purpose of the Corporation.
The purpose of the NRK is to provide public service broadcasting for the entire population of Norway by means of radio, television and other media platforms.
Article 4 Share capital and debt.
The share capital of the Corporation is NOK 1 000 000 000 divided between 1 000 000 shares, each with a nominal value of NOK 1 000.
If the Corporation is dissolved/liquidated, any proceeds of liquidation and assets shall accrue to the state.
Article 5 The General Meeting.
The ordinary General Meeting shall be held annually before the end of June. At the ordinary General Meeting the annual financial statement and auditor’s report shall be presented, and the following matters shall be considered and decided:
1. Adoption of the income statement and balance sheet of Norsk rikskringkasting AS, including application of annual surplus or coverage of annual deficit.
2. Adoption of the income statement and balance sheet for the Norsk rikskringkasting group.
3. Other matters which, pursuant to statute or the articles of association, shall be dealt with by the General Meeting.
The General Meeting shall itself decide whether it will substantively consider matters submitted to it pursuant to article 9.
The annual accounts and other case documents shall be received by the shareholders at the latest four weeks prior to the holding of the ordinary General Meeting.
Article 6 The Board.
The Board shall have nine members. Six members, including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board, shall be elected by the General Meeting for two years at a time. The General Meeting may elect two deputies for these six members.
Three board members with deputy members shall be elected in direct elections by and among the employees pursuant to the provisions of section 8-17, cf. section 18-3, first paragraph, of the Limited Liability Companies Act and regulations issued pursuant to the provisions of the Limited Liability Companies Act concerning the employees’ right to representation on the board of directors, corporate assembly, etc. of limited companies.
Article 7 Authority to sign for the Corporation.
The Chairman of the Board and one board member may sign jointly on behalf of the Corporation.
Article 8 Director General of the NRK.
The Board shall appoint the Director General of the NRK, who shall be the managing director of the Corporation, and determine his or her salary. The Director General of the NRK shall be appointed for a term of six years, which may be extended for a further term of six years.
Article 9 Matters that shall be submitted to the General Meeting.
The Board shall submit to ordinary or extraordinary sessions of the General Meeting all matters which are deemed to be of substantial, political or social significance or which involve questions of principle.
Closure of existing radio or television channels and other measures that may have a substantial impact on the NRK’s public service broadcasting provision shall always be submitted to the General Meeting.
Establishment of subsidiaries or participation in other companies that operate types of activity other than public service broadcasting shall always be submitted to the General Meeting.
The Board shall each year submit to the General Meeting a plan for the activities of the Corporation and its subsidiaries, which in addition to matters as referred to in the first paragraph shall include the following matters:
1. The main activities of the Corporation and its subsidiaries during the years ahead, including major reorganisation, changes in district profile, further development of existing activities and development of new activities
2. Economic development of the Corporation
3. Substantial investments and financing plans for such investments
4. Proposals concerning the licence fee
The Board shall submit to the General Meeting any substantial amendments to plans previously submitted to the General Meeting.
The Board shall submit to the General Meeting purchase, sale or mortgage of real property if such transactions may have significance for the NRK’s programme activities.
The Board may not take a final decision in a matter as referred to in this article before such matter has been submitted to the General Meeting.
Article 10 Financing.
The NRK shall normally break even financially.
The NRK may conduct commercial operations. There shall be a clear distinction as regards accounts and operations between the NRK’s commercial activities and public service broadcasting activities. Commercial activities shall mainly be conducted in subsidiaries, and be consistent with the requirements regarding quality and integrity that apply to the NRK. To the extent that the NRK conducts activities in the parent company not associated with its public service broadcasting assignment, the NRK shall be obliged to keep separate accounts for such activities.
The NRK’s commercial subsidiaries shall comply with ordinary market principles. The NRK’s auditor shall conduct regular inspection of this.
Income from the licence fee shall not be applied to cross-subsidisation of commercial activities. The auditor shall annually issue a report on this. The profit from commercial activities shall be applied in its entirety to public service broadcasting.
Article 11 Public broadcasting accounts.
The NRK shall each year before the end of March prepare a public broadcasting account, which shall be submitted to the Norwegian Media Authority. The account shall provide details of the public service broadcasting activities of the Corporation during the previous year in relation to the public service broadcasting assignment provided by the Storting and enclosed in Part II of these Articles.
II The NRK’s public service broadcasting assignment.
Article 12 The NRK shall support and strengthen democracy.
a. The NRK’s overall public service broadcasting provision shall aim to fulfil democratic, social and cultural needs of society.
b. The NRK shall contribute to the promotion of public debate, and participate in ensuring that the whole population receives sufficient information to take an active part in democratic processes. The NRK shall provide a broad and balanced coverage of political elections. All parties and lists over a certain size shall normally be included in the editorial election coverage.
c. It is the responsibility of the NRK to reveal matters which ought to be subjected to criticism and to help protect individuals and groups against abuse or neglect by public authorities and institutions, private undertakings or others.
d. The NRK shall have editorial independence. The NRK shall safeguard its integrity and credibility in order to be able to operate freely and independently in relation to persons or groups that, for political, ideological, economic or other reasons, wish to exert influence on its editorial content. Activities shall be characterised by a high ethical standard and provide a balanced representation over time. An attempt shall be made to achieve objectivity and an analytical and neutral approach, cf. the self-regulatory mechanisms of the Norwegian press: the Rights and Duties of the Editor, the Code of Ethics and the Code of Ethics for Text Advertising.
Article 13 The NRK shall be generally available.
a. The NRK’s three main channels for, respectively, radio and television shall be available to the whole population. The NRK shall attempt to provide the broadest possible distribution of its remaining programme provision.
b. In principle no payment shall be charged for the NRK’s public service broadcasting provision. The NRK’s three main channels for, respectively, radio and television shall be available free of charge to all licence-fee payers on at least one distribution platform.
c. In designing the NRK’s provision, regard must be paid to the needs of people with disabilities, including the aim to ensure that all television programmes are provided with subtitles.
d. The NRK shall be present on, and develop new services for all major media platforms in order to reach out as broadly as possible with its overall programme provision.
e. The NRK should as far as possible use open standards, unless contraindicated by considerations of economy or quality.
Article 14 The NRK shall strengthen Norwegian language, identity and culture.
a. The NRK shall reflect the geographical diversity of Norway and provide a satisfactory range of local programmes and maintain a local presence.
b. The NRK shall help to strengthen Norwegian and Sami language, identity and culture. A large proportion of this provision shall be rooted in Norway and reflect Norwegian realities. The NRK shall broadcast programmes for national and linguistic minorities. The NRK shall provide daily broadcasts for the Sami population.
c. The NRK shall disseminate knowledge of diverse groups and of the diversity of Norwegian society. The NRK shall create arenas for debate and information about Norway as a multicultural society.
d. The NRK’s provision shall mainly consist of Norwegian language content. Both official Norwegian language variants are to be used. At least 25 per cent of the content shall be in New Norwegian.
e. The NRK shall be obliged to broadcast content that is either produced in or has a basis in Norwegian rural districts. The NRK shall have district broadcasts on all weekdays.
f. The NRK shall disseminate Norwegian culture and a broad variety of Norwegian artistic expression by many different artists, independent environments and public culture institutions.
g. The NRK shall propagate and produce Norwegian music and drama. The NRK shall propagate Norwegian cinematic art, and stimulate the Norwegian film industry. At least 35 per cent of the music played shall be Norwegian, with an emphasis on Norwegian language and/or music by Norwegian composers. The NRK shall retain a permanent orchestra covering a broad repertoire from light music to symphonic music.
h. The NRK shall disseminate Norwegian cultural heritage. This includes the NRK’s archives. The NRK shall make efforts to digitise these archives and make them available to the public. The archive facility shall be mainly free of charge.
i. The NRK shall reflect Norway’s religious heritage and the diversity of ethical and religious traditions in Norwegian society.
j. The NRK shall provide sports broadcasts covering both the breadth of Norwegian sport, including sport for people with disabilities, and major sporting events.
Article 15 The NRK shall aspire to achieve high quality, diversity and innovation.
a. The NRK shall provide services that may be a source of insight, reflection, enjoyment and knowledge through programmes of high quality.
b. The NRK shall be innovative and contribute to development of quality.
c. The NRK shall be able to provide the same types of production as are offered by commercial undertakings, but should aspire to bestow on their productions an element of added social value not commonly provided by commercial productions.
d. The NRK’s provision shall represent a broad range of themes and genres.
e. The NRK shall provide news, current affairs and culture features for both broad and narrow target groups, including its own culture programmes. Its programme provision shall reflect the diversity of the public at large. Among other considerations, the NRK’s provision as a whole shall appeal to all age groups.
f. The NRK shall foster an increased knowledge of international affairs.
g. The NRK shall mediate content from the Nordic countries, and help to disseminate knowledge of Nordic social conditions, culture and languages.
h. The NRK shall contribute to education and training, partly by offering content adapted for schools.
i. The NRK shall promote children’s right to information and freedom of expression, and shield children from harmful forms of content. The NRK shall provide daily Norwegian language programmes for children under 12 years of age, regular Norwegian language programmes for adolescents and regular programmes for children and adolescents in Sami.
Article 16 The NRK’s public service broadcasting provision shall be non-commercial.
a. The NRK’s editorial decisions shall not be guided by commercial considerations.
b. The NRK’s public service broadcasting provision of radio, television and teletext shall be free of advertising, and shall not contain sales promotion of the NRK group’s commercial services and products.
c. The NRK may include advertising on the Internet, with the exception of Web pages targeting children. The NRK shall seek to ensure as clear as possible a distinction between the provision of public service broadcasting and commercial services provided on the Internet. Downloadable services provided within the public service broadcasting provision shall not contain commercial advertising. Special care shall be taken to avoid providing content that exposes the public to commercial pressure. This applies particularly to programmes targeting children and adolescents.
d. Licence fees and other public income shall not be used to subsidise commercial activities. There shall be a clear distinction as regards accounts and operations between the NRK’s commercial activities and public service broadcasting activities.
e. The NRK’s public service broadcasting provision, both in traditional programme activities and in the form of new media services, shall mainly be financed by means of the licence fee.
f. The NRK shall be able to further develop commercial services generating profits that contribute to financing of public service broadcasting services. Such commercial activities shall be consistent with the requirements regarding quality and integrity that apply to the NRK.
Article 17 The NRK shall provide attractive content on the Internet, mobile TV, etc.
a. The NRK’s Internet services consisting of moving pictures, sound and text, shall at least contain a continuously updated provision of:
• National and international news
• Separate provision of regional news and content
• In-house productions for children and adolescents
• Factual and background information in connection with news, public debates and current affairs
• Art and culture
• Sport and entertainment
• Services and games that encourage interactive participation
b. The NRK shall make as many as possible of its radio and television programmes available on the Internet, both for simultaneous distribution and as an archive service for download and/or individual playback. This shall at least include making available all of its in-house productions broadcast during the previous seven days as an archive service, provided that this does not involve excessive costs. The NRK shall make efforts to ensure that as much as possible of the remaining material broadcast during the previous seven days is made available as an archive service.
c. The NRK’s programme provision on the Internet shall as a rule be free of charge. However, it shall be possible to recover use-related costs associated with this programme provision by means of user fees.
d. The provisions of the previous paragraph shall not preclude the provision of commercial editions of programmes by the NRK. Such editions are not to be regarded as part of the public service broadcasting provision and shall not be of such a volume that they undermine the main principle that the NRK’s programme provision on the Internet shall be free of charge.
e. The NRK shall stimulate knowledge, understanding and use of other media platforms by users of all ages.