Fréttablaðið (English: The Newspaper) was a free Icelandic newspaper.[2] It was distributed five days per week.[3]

TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Torg ehf.
PublisherJón Þórisson
EditorSigmundur Ernir Rúnarsson
Political alignmentCentre-left[1]
Ceased publicationMarch 31, 2023 (2023-03-31)
HeadquartersKalkofnsvegur 2, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
Circulation75,000 (as of February 2022)

History and profileEdit

Fréttablaðið was established in 2001.[4][2] It was originally owned primarily by the media group 365.[4][5] The paper was published six days per week, Monday — Saturday until September 2003, when its frequency was switched to daily.[4] As of 2019, it was published six days per week again,[6] and as of 2020, it was published five days per week.[3] It is entirely funded by advertising.[3]

Fréttablaðið has been described as siding politically with the Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin) and for favouring Icelandic membership of the European Union. However, some of its editors have sided with the conservative Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn), and its former editor-in-chief and regular columnist is Independence Party's former leader and Prime Minister Þorsteinn Pálsson.

In the period of 2001–2002, the paper had a circulation of 70,000.[7] In 2019, it had a circulation of 80,000.[8] Forty percent of Iceland respondents to a Gallup survey stated that they read the paper.[9]

In 2017, 365 Miðlar sold most of its assets to Fjarskipti ehf, the parent company of Vodafone Iceland, including the website[10][11] 365 Miðlar kept Fréttablaðið along with Glamour magazine and opened a new website,[12] As of 2020, it was the sixth most popular website in Iceland.[3] After the sale to fjarskipti, 365 Miðlar moved operations to Fréttablaðið, Glamour magazine and under Torg ehf., its subsidiary.[13]

In October 2019, Helgi Magnússon and other investors bought 365 Miðlar's shares in Torg ehf. Helgi had previously bought 50% of Torg ehf's stocks earlier in 2019. As a part of the sale, Ólöf Skaftadóttir stepped down as editor and was replaced with Jón Þórisson.[14] After the sale, the new owners announced their plans to merge Fréttablaðið with the TV station Hringbraut.[15]

In October 2020, the paper was accused of publishing fake news by the United States embassy in Iceland due to a report saying that the embassy's employees were asked to work despite one worker contracting COVID-19.[16][17] In 2021 Torg ehf., the owner of the paper, received 81 million Icelandic krónas (about $USD 637,443) in subsidies issued to Icelandic media by the government of Iceland.[18]

On 31 March 2023, the paper ceased publication and laid off all staff.[19][20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Merskin, Debra L. (2019-11-12). The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Mass Media and Society. SAGE Publications. pp. 781–782. ISBN 978-1-4833-7552-6.
  2. ^ a b Kaplan, Robert B.; Baldauf, Richard B. Jr.; Kamwangamalu, Nkonko (22 April 2016). Language Planning in Europe: Cyprus, Iceland and Luxembourg. Routledge. pp. 133–134. ISBN 978-1-134-91674-0.
  3. ^ a b c d Elliott, Alexander (April 24, 2020). "Fréttablaðið to drop Monday edition". RÚV. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Iceland, free newspaper Frettabladid rules". Newspaper Innovation. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  5. ^ Demurtas, Alice (February 2, 2018). "Independence Party's Privileged Relationship With Icelandic Media: At What Cost?". The Reykjavík Grapevine. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  6. ^ Tómas, Ragnar (December 6, 2019). "No News in Fréttablaðið Today". Iceland Review. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  7. ^ Piet Bakker (2002). "Free daily newspapers ‐ business models and strategies". International Journal on Media Management. 4 (3): 180–187. doi:10.1080/14241270209389998. S2CID 59946379.
  8. ^ Kjarnans, Ritstjórn (October 18, 2019). "Helgi Magnússon eignast allt Fréttablaðið – Jón Þórisson nýr ritstjóri". Kjarninn (in Icelandic). Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  9. ^ Kjarnans, Ritstjórn (April 24, 2020). "Fréttablaðið hættir að koma út á mánudögum". Kjarninn (in Icelandic). Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  10. ^ Atli Ísleifsson (14 March 2017). "Kaup Vodafone á 365 miðlum undirrituð". (in Icelandic). Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  11. ^ Þórður Snær Júlíusson (9 October 2017). "Samkeppniseftirlitið heimilar kaup Vodafone á 365 miðlum". Kjarninn (in Icelandic). Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Fréttablaðið fær eigin vefmiðil". (in Icelandic). 10 May 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Hlutafé útgefanda Fréttablaðsins aukið um 150 milljónir". Kjarninn (in Icelandic). 2018-05-19. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  14. ^ "Hringbraut og Fréttablaðið í eina sæng". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 18 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  15. ^ Davíð Stefánsson (18 October 2019). "Helgi Magnússon kaupir eignarhlut 365 miðla í Fréttablaðinu". Fréttablaðið (in Icelandic). Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  16. ^ Einarsdóttir, Gréta Sigríður (October 30, 2020). "US Embassy Accuses Icelandic Newspaper of Irresponsible Journalism and Fake News". Iceland Review. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  17. ^ Júlíusson, Þórður Snær (October 30, 2020). "Bandaríska sendiráðið ásakar Fréttablaðið um að flytja falsfréttir". Kjarninn (in Icelandic). Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  18. ^ Kyzer, Larissa (September 8, 2021). "Three Major Media Outlets Receive 63% of Government Support". Iceland Review. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  19. ^ Kolbeinn Tumi Daðason (31 March 2023). "Fréttablaðið og Hringbraut heyra sögunni til". Ví (in Icelandic). Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  20. ^ "Útgáfu Fréttablaðsins hætt og útsendingar Hringbrautar stöðvast". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 31 March 2023. Retrieved 31 March 2023.

External linksEdit