This fall has been very turbulent in Scandinavia, not at least in Sweden. All who attended SPACE 2012 in Copenhagen remember that Lena K Samuelsson, Editor-in-chief at Svenska Dagbladet, talked about how the company is rethinking the newspaper after the news that about 60 people will leave SvD. The Schibsted group are pulling the handbrake and that decision will of course affect all newspapers.
This is a very conservative industry and that means that almost all media groups follow in the same footsteps. So here are some more examples from Sweden:
Bonnier owned Dagens Nyheter and Sydsvenskan are going to exchange news stories.
Gunllia Herlitz, publisher at Dagens Nyheter, has been commissioned to examine how a merger of Dagens Nyheter, Dagens Industri, Sydsvenskan and Expressen could be done.
Just the other day Daniel Sandström, chief editor at Sydsvenskan, told the staff that he is going to resign on his post in January 2013. But it has nothing to do with the merger plans, he explains for mediavarlden.se
A collaboration has also started between DN, Sydsvenskan and Göteborgs-Posten (GP). It is Citymagasin who will produce magazines for the three newspapers. Citymagasin’s publisher Petter T. Stocke-Nicolaisen (previously at Aftenposten and Adresseavisen) hope, also according to medievarlden.se
Layoffs, mergers and collaborations. It seems to be the three supreme methods for an industry in crisis to solve problems. Is there really no more offensive actions?
My question is still: How do we get paid for journalism?
One exciting answer can be the path Fædrelandsvennen (part of the Shibsted group) in Norway has gone. They decided to charge for journalism also on the web (www.fvn.no
You pay for the complete package, with all content available in all channels. Fædrelandsvennen has also come closer to their costumers by being very active on social media. Just as Carles Capdevila from ARA proclaimed in Copenhagen in September: it is extremely important to meet and discuss with your customers in social media if you really want to build a strong brand. And it is particularly important if you want to find younger customers.
Fædrelandsvennen’s slogan is: Everything, Everywhere, Always. I think it’s a brilliant slogan. And it also includes: But you’ll have to pay. That’s even more brilliant.
The trend has reversed for Fædrelandsvennen and the circulation has increased. And the new customers are much younger than ever before (just above 40 in average).
I believe that the question “how do we get paid for the journalism?” is a crucial question especially for us news designers. Because we are the ones who know best how to present the content to our customers, regardless of platform. What they see is what they get.
And therefore we must fight to ensure that the presentation of news is important even in the future. But if we can’t get paid for the journalistic content the battle is lost.
What do you think about this? How do we get paid for journalism in the future?