BIEN was founded and edited by the Norwegian Synod minister I.L.P. Dietrickson, a pastor in San Francisco, on April 22, 1882. The illustrated weekly BIEN (the BEE) was a uniquely journalistic contribution to the local Norwegian community and beyond. Claiming to publish “the intelligent Scandinavians on the West Coast”, it initially had sixteen pages, four to six of which were devoted to pictures, plus features, short stories, and about two pages to advertising. Its size decreased greatly over the years. In 1890 in became under Danish management, and the following year it was revived as a regular weekly news organ. The Danish American typographer and historian Sophus Hartwick began as a co-owner but after a few years assumed full ownership; he secured BIEN’s prosperity and gave the Danes of California their own voice. Norwegian Newspapers in America: Connecting Norway and the New Land by Odd Sverre Lovoll.
BIEN Since 1882 has now been published for more than 130 years as a sixteen pages semi-monthly news paper. Today, BIEN continues to inform and entertain its readers with news from Denmark and about the Danish communities in America.
BIEN is published based on the four fundamental purposes:
- BIEN should provide news from Denmark to keep its readers up to date with people and relevant events there.
- BIEN should inform Danes in America about each other and be the Danish connection between them.
- BIEN should entertain and inform its readers of issues relevant to Danes living in America.
- BIEN should include contributions from its readers about themselves and their lives. Give the readers their own voice.