A message from your publisher, Ragnar Meyer-Knutsen

Ragnar Meyer-Knutsen

Photo courtesy of Ragnar Meyer-Knutsen
Ragnar Meyer-Knutsen and his son Erik Christian Knutsen on board the the Norwegian frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl in New York.

Ragnar Meyer-Knutsen
President, Sealift Inc.

We are living in a society that is changing quickly. Only a couple of decades ago, the speed at which we now exchange information and ideas was unthinkable: with the internet, email, and cable channels from around the world 24/7.

Yet with all this communication, we are also drifting apart in a confusing maze of information. We struggle to find the news that we want, and we wonder if our own voices will be heard through the noise.

We are proud that The Norwegian American is the last Norwegian-American newspaper in existence. Its long history goes back over 130 years, the result of the merger of many smaller publications from coast to coast. It is the voice of Norway seen from a uniquely American perspective, serving as the glue for the greater Norwegian-American community around the world.

Historically, the relationship between Norway and the United States has been strong, and its importance cannot be underestimated. Our countries share common values, which are strengthened by ongoing cross-cultural interaction. In the United States, we want to hold on to our traditions and share them with our children and grandchildren. At the same time, we want to work together with Norway to build up strong economies, fostered by innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to keep strategic bonds between our nations strong to secure the future for generations to come. These ties are an insurance that we Norwegians and Norwegian Americans cannot afford to lose in the unsure, rapidly changing political landscape across the globe today.

There is no substitute for a vibrant, living press to strengthen these ties, but in recent times, our little newspaper has faced the same challenges as many other print publications. The costs of newsprint have increased, people are consuming their news differently, and the demographic of our community is changing. Younger generations of Norwegian Americans are starting to drift away. That is why it is more important than ever that we reach out to new readers by staying at the forefront of digitization. This will require significant investment, but it is a challenge that we together can meet.

The Norwegian American is not driven by profit: it is driven by love for Norway—and that is why I support it. I hope you will join me and our dedicated staff to strengthen the voice of Norwegian America for a brighter, better future.

Ragnar Meyer-Knutsen is the President of Sealift Inc. He is the publisher of The Norwegian American, a longtime member of Nordmannsforbundet, and a strong supporter of the Nordic community in North America.

Learn more about how you can contribute to The Norwegain American at www.norwegianamerican.com/contribute.

This article originally appeared in the November 15, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.