Sweden’s four largest titles – Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet and Expressen – have teamed up for a campaign calling for the release of Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak, who has been jailed in Eritrea for the last 2,742 days.
As reported at Media Culpa, the annual Swedish Journalism Awards gave its prize for ‘Innovator of the Year’ to Dagens Nyheter’s Fredrik Strage, for his YouTube list which rates “The 100 biggest rock moments on YouTube”.
Media Culpa notes how rival Svenska Dagbladet has used the idea too, for its top political moments collection.
Here’s no. 1 from Strage’s list to liven up your Friday afternoon.
In Swedish it is described as: ‘The Cramps uppträder på mentalsjukhus’.
Schibsted-owned VG.no has added a popular ‘trackback’ function, allowing the site to display what bloggers are saying about its articles.
Yesterday the site quietly opened its virtual doors for bloggers and started using Swedish blogsearch-engine Twingly to display links from bloggers below individual articles.
Previously the country’s second biggest tabloid Dagbladet had adopted the function for its news site, while the news sites of other influential Scandinavian newspapers, such as Svenska Dagbladet and Dagens Nyheter in Sweden, and Politiken in Denmark, have been using it for some time now.
Several of these papers have seen Twingly as a way of building a bridge to the blogosphere.
“Twingly has built a solid position in the Nordic market, so it was a natural choice. We see it as a way to enrich our articles,” René Svendsen, deputy editor for VG.no, told Journalism.co.uk.
The launch of the world’s first ‘newspaper’ telephone by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) was part of a plan to establish it as a recognised platform for news, DN’s head of mobile told an industry forum today.
DN launched the phone in partnership with Nokia and Nordic mobile service provider Telnor in December to give users instant access to the paper’s online content, Johan Brandt told the digital media roundtable at the World Newspaper Congress.
“We did this because we had three challenges [with mobile]. We had to get people to realise we had a pretty good mobile site. Many people just didn’t know that they could find news from the mobile internet, not enough people were aware of it as a channel,” he said.
“Secondly, one of the big barriers was that it’s difficult to browse the internet with a mobile, there are too many clicks… and third was ‘what does it cost to serve?’. Mobile providers charge users by megabyte. But what is a megabyte? Is it an article or a mobile TV episode. People don’t know what it’s going to cost them.”
In order to promote the newspaper portal, he added, it was important that the phone allowed users to assess DN’s mobile service in a single click and surf those web pages without incurring charges for downloading data.
The service, he added, is now attracting 50,000 unique users per month – up more than 40 per cent from last year – but there remained significant factors hampering the development of the mobile phone as an established platform to deliver news and on which newspapers can make significant revenue.
He identified a lack of standardised technology and measurement across the mobile market as the primary drawback to significant growth.
“There are no standards on the mobile market, it’s unnecessarily difficult and hard for the developers to create model services. I want to see growth from the walled garden model to a more open environment,” he said.
“Secondly, there is a lack of standards when it comes to advertising and measurement. There are different ad formats for different mobile sites. The market is fragmented and this makes advertisers frustrated and it also dwarves the mobile market’s potential in the short term.
“As a result of this there is a lack of strategic integration of marketing across mobile and other platforms for advertisers.
“There are too many pricing models for our advertisers to learn and in Sweden there are no valid or integrated tools for measurement, there are just no standards.”
In addition to this, he said, it was difficult for consumers to establish the cost of accessing data on phones and that it could prove to be a deterrent to use.
“In Sweden there are several hundred mobile phone subscriptions, with different prices for surfing. How can the user really know which subscription to get and what it costs to surf when it’s paid for by megabyte?
“I think there should be flat fees for time spent, that would make cost more predictable [for users].”
Kristine Lowe is a freelance journalist who writes on the media industry for number of US, UK and Norwegian publications. Today Online Journalism Scandinavia looks again at news sites linking to blogs.
Dagladet.no has been experimenting with Twingly since October last year, but last week announced that Twingly would now become the standard across the site.
However, the online newspaper said that articles dealing with very sensitive issues – those concerning murder, suicide and death – would not not have the technology applied to them.
“Our experiences with Twingly so far are very positive. There are so many interesting things happening in the blogosphere, and we think it is important that our readers can converse in their own rooms and extend the debate about our articles there,” Mina Hauge Naerland, a journalist involved with the implementation, told Journalism.co.uk.
Politiken.dk, the news site of one of Denmark’s leading newspapers, started using Twingly a month ago, and the online operations of two of Sweden’s most influential newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet and Dagens Nyheter, have used Twingly for about a year.