Norway is a relatively small country with a population of around five million and a geographical area slightly less than the state of California. There are more people of Norwegian descent living in America than in Norway. Despite it’s small size, Norway is a culturally rich country that has made many contributions to worldwide media.
Naturally, Norwegian sagas and mythology are one of Norway’s (and to be fair, the rest of Scandinavia’s) biggest claims to fame. The myths and sagas have had influence on some of the biggest worldwide media phenomenons. J.R.R. Tolkien was famously inspired by Norse mythology when he wrote The Lord of the Rings series. The Thor comic book series is obviously inspired by the sagas of Norse gods.
Norsk rikskringkasting AS, or NRK, is Norway’s government owned radio and television broadcasting company, the Norwegian equivalent to PBS in the U.S. and the BBC in England. The company is funded almost entirely by annual license fees charged to anyone who owns a TV. NRK is home to Lørdagsbarnetimen, which is the world’s longest running radio show. The program has been running since December 20, 1924.
NRK was also a founding member of the European Broadcasting Union, the world’s biggest union of public media companies.
Norwegian is a language spoken basically only in Norway, and so to better integrate into the world economic and cultural scene, most Norwegians are bilingual, speaking both Norwegian and English fluently, and sometimes other languages like German. Since Norway’s film and television industries are relatively small, they import a large amount of television programming from the U.S., which also aids many children in learning to speak conversational English.