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Icelandic Online Dictionary and Readings

Carry On Icelandic: Culture [selections] (2004)

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Fj÷lmi­lar - The Mass Media

Fj÷lmi­lar

Fj÷lmi­lar gegna st÷­ugt veigameira hlutverki Ý Ýslensku n˙tÝmasamfÚlagi. Ůeir eiga a­ tryggja almenningi a­gang a­ fj÷lbreyttum upplřsingum og mi­la ■eim eftir ˇlÝkum lei­um. Miklar breytingar ur­u ß vettvangi fj÷lmi­la ß tuttugustu ÷ldinni. Ůeim hefur fj÷lga­ og ljˇsvakami­lar, sÝmtŠki og t÷lvutŠkni gegna st÷­ugt stŠrra hlutverki. Ůß mß reikna me­ a­ styttist Ý a­ ■essir mi­lar renni saman Ý einn mi­il sem gŠfi tŠkifŠri til gagnvirkrar mi­lunar.

Color photograph

H˙snŠ­i RÝkis˙tvarpsins a­ Efstaleiti 1 Ý ReykjavÝk (The National Broadcaster is housed in this building at Efstaleiti 1 in ReykjavÝk).

RÝkis˙tvarp var stofna­ 1930. Ůa­ nß­i fljˇtlega til flestra bygg­a landsins og ˙tvarpstŠkjum fj÷lga­i ÷rt. Framan af var a­eins ˙tvarpa­ fjˇrar til sex stundir ß sˇlarhring. RÝkis˙tvarpi­ er reki­ af Ýslenska rÝkinu og a­ ■vÝ er umdeild skyldußskrift. Allir eigendur sjˇnvarpsvi­tŠkja eru skylda­ir til a­ grei­a RÝkis˙tvarpinu ßskriftargjald. Gagnrřnendur skyldußskriftar telja ■a­ ranglßtt gagnvart sjˇnvarpseigendum og ÷­rum einkareknum sjˇnvarpsst÷­vum a­ ßhorfendur skuli vera skylda­ir til a­ grei­a ßskrift a­ sjˇnvarpsst÷­ ˇhß­ ■vÝ hvort horft sÚ e­ur ei. Mßlsvarar rÝkis˙tvarpsins telja hins vegar a­ ■a­ gegni mikilvŠgu hlutverki fyrir landsmenn. Ůa­ sÚ ˙tvarp allra landsmanna me­an ˙tsendingar řmissa annarra ˙tvarpsst÷­va nßi ekki til alls landsins. Ůetta sÚ mikilvŠgt m.a. me­ tilliti til mi­lunar upplřsinga eins og a­varana vegna nßtt˙ruhamfara. Ůß telja mßlsvarar rÝkis˙tvarpsins a­ menningarlegt gildi ■ess sÚ ekki sÝ­ur mikilvŠgt.

Kv÷ldvaka vi­ vi­tŠki­

Segja mß a­ rÝkis˙tvarpi­ hafi teki­ vi­ hlutverki kv÷ldv÷kunnar a­ m÷rgu leyti. ═ strjßlbřlu bŠndasamfÚlagi fyrri alda styttu menn sÚr stundir vi­ bˇklestur, kve­skap og sagnaskemmtun ß kv÷ldv÷kunni. Ůar var einnig lesinn h˙slestur. Kv÷ldvakan var a­ vÝsu vinnutÝmi en h˙n var ennfremur samverustund heimilisfˇlksins. Ůar var lesi­ af bˇk fyrir heimilisfˇlki­, kve­nar rÝmur af bˇk e­a eftir minni og rŠtt um ■a­ sem fram var flutt.

RÝkis˙tvarpi­ er enn mˇta­ ■essum hef­um. Auk frÚtta og margvÝslegra ■ßtta eru lesnar framhaldss÷gur, flutt kvŠ­i, lesin morgunbŠn og kv÷ldbŠn, PassÝusßlmar HallgrÝms PÚturssonar eru lesnir ß f÷stunni o.s.frv., en slÝkt er arfur frß kv÷ldv÷kunni. ┴ fyrstu ßrum ˙tvarpsins kom fˇlk jafnvel saman ■ar sem til var ˙tvarp og settist vi­ vi­tŠki­ og hlřddi ß ■ulinn lÝkt og ß kv÷ldv÷kunni ß­ur.

Sjˇnvarp og Ýslensk menning

Sjˇnvarp hˇf ekki ˙tsendingar fyrr en 1966. ┌tsendingar ■ess voru takmarka­ar vi­ kv÷ldin og eitt kv÷ld Ý viku, fimmtudagskv÷ld, var sjˇnvarpslaust. Me­ tilkomu sjˇnvarpsins fˇr a­ draga verulega ˙r ■vÝ a­ fˇlk fŠri Ý heimsˇknir hvert til annars eins og ß­ur tÝ­ka­ist. Ůess Ý sta­ styttir fj÷lskyldan sÚr stundir fyrir framan sjˇnvarpi­ ß sÝ­kv÷ldum og skemmtir sÚr vi­ efni hva­anŠva ˙r ver÷ldinni e­a setur myndbandsspˇlu Ý myndbandstŠki­, "vÝdeˇspˇlu Ý vÝdeˇi­". Ůykir m÷rgum sem heimur versnandi fari og Ýslenskri tungu og menningu standi ˇgn af ■vÝ flˇ­i erlends efnis og tÝskustrauma sem flŠ­a yfir landsmenn ß ■essum al■jˇ­legu tÝmum. Sjˇnvarpi­ eigi drj˙gan skerf Ý ■vÝ. A­rir benda ß a­ ■rßtt fyrir ■etta hafi Ýslensk tunga aldrei veri­ sterkari en n˙, fleiri tali hana en nokkru sinni fyrr. Fj÷lmargir ˙tlendingar leggja n˙ stund ß Ýslenskunßm bŠ­i ß ═slandi og vi­ erlenda hßskˇla.

A­rir mi­lar

┴ri­ 1986 hˇf fyrsta einkarekna sjˇnvarpsst÷­in starfsemi sÝna en sÝ­an hefur or­i­ fj÷lmi­lasprenging me­ fj÷lda einkarekinna st÷­va. Ůß er Neti­ mj÷g ˙tbreitt me­al almennings Ý landinu.

Tv÷ stˇr dagbl÷­ eru gefin ˙t Ý ReykjavÝk. Ůau teljast stˇrbl÷­ ef mi­a­ er vi­ fˇlksfj÷lda. Anna­ ■eirra, Morgunbla­i­, er gefi­ ˙t Ý 50.000-55.000 eint÷kum, 70-75 bls. a­ stŠr­ og mß gera rß­ fyrir a­ ■a­ nßi til svo til allra fj÷lskyldna Ý landinu.

En fˇlk getur einnig lesi­ frÚttir og sˇtt sÚr upplřsingar af margvÝslegu tagi me­ ■vÝ a­ fara inn ß einhvern frÚttavefinn ß Netinu.

The Mass Media

Mass communication plays an increasingly important role in contemporary Icelandic society. It is supposed to ensure universal access to all kinds of information and disseminate it in different ways. There have been enormous changes in the area of mass communication during the twentieth-century. It has increased in volume, with mass media, telecommunication, and computer technology performing increasingly important roles. Further, one can expect that before long these forms of communication will run together in a single media form, one which will hold out the possibility of an interactive media system.

The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÝkis˙tvarp) was established in 1930. It quickly reached out to most of the districts in the country and radios multiplied rapidly. To begin with, there were only four to six hours of broadcast time per twenty-four hour cycle. The Broadcasting Service is operated by the Icelandic government and, as such, entails a controversial compulsory subscription. Anyone that owns a television screen is forced to pay this subscription. Critics to the subscription have said that unfair to both owners of television screens and privately run television stations that viewers are forced to be a subscriper to the National Broadcaster. On the other hand, defenders of the National Broadcaster believe that it performs an important service for Icelanders. It is the radio for all the people; broadcasts by various other radio stations do not reach every part of the country. Amongst other things, this is important in providing information, such as warnings of natural disasters. The advocates for the National Broadcaster also believe that its cultural value is no less important.

Evening Entertainment by the Radio

One may say that in many ways the National Broadcaster has taken over the role of providing evening entertainment. For centuries, people in rural societies passed time by reading, composing poetry, and telling stories out loud when the time came for evening entertainment. Family prayers were also read out. As a matter of fact, the evening entertainment was a time of activity, and furthermore a time for the people of the household to be together. Books were read out for the household, ballad songs were recited from collections or memory, and people talked about different matters which came up.

The National Broadcaster is still formed in a way which reflects this structure. As well as news and various programs, story series are read out, poems are recited, morning and evening prayers are read, HallgrÝmur PÚtursson's PassÝusßlmar are read during the fast and so on, much in the way of old evening entertainments. In the first years of radio, people even gathered around the radio and sat by it, listening to the announcer just as they would during the evening entertainment of old.

Television and Icelandic Culture

Television broadcasts did not begin until 1966. The broadcast was limited to evenings and one night per week, Thursday night, was television free. With the arrival of television, a considerable decline in people's old habit of calling in on one another began. In its place, the family passes time in front of the television in the evenings and entertains itself with the content which comes from all over the world. Or they put a cassette into the video machine, "vÝdeˇspˇlu Ý vÝdeˇi­" as it goes in Icelandic slang. Many feel that the world is becoming a worse place and think that Icelandic language and culture are threatened by the wave of foreign material and fashions flooding people in the era of globalization. Television makes a considerable contribution to this. Others point out that, in spite of this, the Icelandic language has never been stronger than it is now. More people talk Icelandic today than ever before and many foreigners are now undertaking studies in Icelandic both in Iceland and at universities abroad.

Other Media

In 1986, the first privately run television station commenced operations, and since then there has been a growth in media outlets, including many privately run stations. Also, there is widespread general access to the internet in Iceland.

There a two large daily newspapers published in ReykjavÝk (given the size of the population, they are considered large papers). One of them, Morgunbla­i­, has a print run of 50,000 - 55,000 copies, is 70 - 75 pages in size, and one might say that it reaches every family in the country.

But people can also read the news and look for information of all kinds by accessing a news provider on the internet.

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