In 2014, Research Council Norway launched a new research programme, KULMEDIA. The programme was directed towards research on the culture and media sector, and it was partly funded by the Ministry of Culture. Before the launch of the programme, a number of reports and studies had underlined the need for research-based knowledge to enable policy development in the field of culture. This was considered to be especially pertinent in a time when these sectors are undergoing fundamental changes, fueled by digitization, globalization and altered economic frameworks. The original five-year programme was prolonged with a new five-year period from 2019-2023.
The primary objective for the current KULMEDIA programme is to «promote high-quality research in the cultural and media fields». The plan for the programme says the following about the ambitions for the research: «Knowledge accumulated under the programme is to be of relevance for policy development and public administrationas well as for stakeholders active in these fields. The programme will generate knowledge about the challenges and opportunities associated with technological and economic changes, and about media and cultural policy.» Our project, Rapids and backwaters, received funding from the programme in December 2019, with the formal start-up date March 1, 2020. The project is covering two of the thematic and scientific priority areas for the programme: the relationship between change and stability, and the relationship between digital and analogue. Furthermore, it also covers two basic areas for the programme: digitization and cultural policy.