Tag Archives: Scandinavia

#followjourn: @kristinelowe/media journalist

#FollowJourn: Kristine Lowe

Who? Blogger and journalist currently based in Norway covering the media industry – for the media industry

What? She writes for numerous titles in Scandinavia and the UK/US, and founded The Norwegian Online News Association (NONA)

Where? @kristinelowe

Contact? Take a look at her blog or email kristine_lowe [at] yahoo.co.uk.

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

Essential journalism links for students

This list is doing the rounds under the headline 100 Best Blogs for Journalism Students… and we’re not on it. Nope, not even a smidgeon of link-love for poor old Journalism.co.uk there.

The BachelorsDegreeOnline site appears to be part of e-Learners.com, but it’s not clear who put the list together. Despite their omission of our content and their rather odd descriptions (e.g: Adrian Monck: ‘Adrian Monck writes this blog about how we inform ourselves and why we do it’), we admit it is a pretty comprehensive list; excellent people and organisations we feature on the site, our blog roll and Best of Blogs mix – including many UK-based ones. There were also ones we hadn’t come across before.

In true web 2.0 self-promotional style, here are our own links which any future list-compilers might like to consider as helpful links for journalism students:

And here are some blogs/sites also left off the list which immediately spring to mind as important reading for any (particularly UK-based) journalism students:

Organisations

  • Crikey.com: news from down under that’s not Murdoch, or Fairfax produced.
  • Press Review Blog (a Media Standards Trust project) – it’s a newbie, but already in the favourites.
  • StinkyJournalism: it’s passionate and has produced many high-profile stories

Individuals

  • CurryBet – Martin Belam’s links are canny, and provocative and break down the division between tech and journalism.
  • Malcolm Coles – for SEO tips and off-the-beaten track spottings.
  • Dave Lee – facilitating conversations journalists could never have had in the days before blogs.
  • Marc Vallee – photography freedom issues from the protest frontline.
  • FleetStreetBlues: an anonymous industry insider with jobs, witty titbits and a healthy dose of online cynicism.
  • Sarah Hartley previously as above, now with more online strategy thrown in.
  • Charles Arthur – for lively debate on PR strategy, among other things

Writing this has only brought home further the realisation that omissions are par for the course with list-compilation, but it does inspire us to do our own 101 essential links for global online journalists – trainees or otherwise. We’d also like to make our list inclusive of material that is useful for, but not necessarily about, journalists: MySociety for example.

Add suggestions below, via @journalismnews or drop judith at journalism.co.uk an email.

Organ Grinder: Guardian’s Eurovision liveblog – Scandinavia reacts

Organ Grinder reports on how the Guardian’s tongue-in-cheek liveblogging of Saturday’s Eurovision contest was reported by Scandinavian media.

The perils of liveblogging? Norwegian, Danish and Swedish titles took some of the blog’s teasing comments as the Guardian’s official line, with their humour lost in translation (but leading to some highly amusing headlines…)

Full post at this link…

CNN Technology: How can EveryBlock’s model be used worldwide?

Can ultralocal news and information site EveryBlock’s data-driven model be adopted more widely, asks Steve Mollman.

Related models could see success in Japan and Scandinavia, he suggests.

“The EveryBlock revenue model would play into building local economies perfectly as well, by helping disseminate more localized advertising,” says Japanese market entry and strategy consultant, Tei Gordon, in the piece.

“In this down economy, I think anything that might stimulate local economies would be welcome.”

Full article at this link…

Online Journalism Scandinavia: Online media play crucial role in Iceland’s fleece revolution

On Monday, Iceland’s coalition government collapsed under the strain of an escalating economic crisis.

However, because of widespread cross-ownership, Icelandic media is not only feeling the impact of the crisis on its advertisement revenues; it’s in the eye of the storm, and angry Icelanders have turned to turn to the web to inform each other, organise anti-government rallies and vent their frustrations.

“It’s a grassroots revolution,” said Andri Sigurðsson, a blogger and web developer.

He explained that Iceland had seen a surge in political blogs in the wake of the financial turmoil, and that people had turned to using web tools such as Facebook and Twitter to organise demonstrations and protests.

With so many people losing their jobs, this year the island is facing the highest unemployment in decades. Some have turned to blogging full time – the blogger behind Newsfrettir, for example, has started translating Icelandic news to English after being made redundant in October.

Since the country’s biggest newspaper, Fréttablaðið, along with a large portion of the rest of Icelandic media, is controlled by Baugur (the ailing investment company that also owns a large stake in Iceland’s and the UK’s retail industry); and the second biggest newspaper, Morgunblaðið, has been controlled by Björgólfur Guðmundsson (owner and chairman of West Ham FC and chairman of Landsbanki, the bank embroiled in the Icesave scandal)… the whole situation gets rather complicated.

“We’re trying to cut all our connections to Baugur. You know, the sugar daddy behind DV and Fréttablaðið was Baugur, but the sugar daddy behind Morgunbladid was Björgólfur Guðmundsson? Every media here has its problem. We had Baugur’s Jon Asgeir Jóhannesson, they have Björgólfur,” said Reynir Traustasson, editor-in-chief of Icelandic tabloid DV, pictured right.

It is against this backdrop that political blogs such as the conservative AMX.is and the socialist-green Smugan.is have grown in popularity. However, Fréttablaðið’s editor-in-chief Jón Kaldal, does not see the surge in independent sites for news and opinion as a threat to mainstream media.

“None of these are doing investigative reporting; they are just repeating what has been written elsewhere. It is an outlet for gossip and rumours. But certain internet sites have worked well to get information out of the government. When gossip breaks out on these sites, the government is forced to come out of hiding,” he said.

Yet Kaldal was not optimistic about the times ahead:

“The whole society of Iceland is in a very strange place at the moment. It’s like we’re engulfed in a thick fog, and we don’t know quite how the world will look like when it lifts. Always in a recession or downturn there is a stronger demand for effect in advertisement. The strong grow stronger during a recession. But the situation here on Iceland is so critical that I don’t know if that’s enough.”

Read more about online journalism and the media in Scandinavia at this link.

Images in this post used with the author’s permission. For more of Kristine’s Iceland images visit Flickr.

Online Journalism Scandinavia: Resolutions for 2009 – Yes, we link

Danish journalists pen link manifesto, which should be an inspiration for journalists everywhere in 2009.

The last quarter of 2008 did not only open our eyes to how flawed the fiscal economy is, in Scandinavia more and more journalists also realised how awkwardly media organisations operate in the link economy.

In Norway, the union chapel at DN.no, the news site of the country’s biggest financial daily, suggested introducing a common link policy for all the country’s news sites to make it profitable to produce good original articles rather than just to copy-paste.

In Denmark, a survey by eJour found just two links to external sites when monitoring seven Danish news sites over a period of two weeks. Blogging journalists in Denmark were also up in arms over a renewed effort by Danish newspaper publishers to stop websites like Google News from linking to individual articles rather than a newspaper’s homepage.

Against this backdrop, Kim Elmose, the blog editor of Politiken.dk, and Lars K. Jensen, a project manager at Ekstrabladet.dk, launched a link manifesto and encouraged news rooms everywhere to write their own link commandments and use their manifesto freely.

Let’s hope this can inspire more and better linking on many a news site in 2009:

First law: We link to the sources for the data we use in our journalistic products. If we have read, seen or heard important new information on an external site – for instance about companies, people or surveys – we will link to it.

Second law: We link directly and precisely to the information we use from external sites. In this way we provide proper service to our readers rather than just linking to the front page of the external site.

Third law: We are precise in our information about where a link leads to; about who has produced the information we link to and when. The readers should know where it takes them when they follow a link.

Fourth law: We recognise that an article consisting of precise links to information that represents different angles on an issue is a journalistic product.

Fifth law: We are open to inbound links to our own news sites because we want to be an integrated part of the web’s ecosystem

Sixth law: We aspire to making it easier to link directly to our articles.

Online Journalism Scandinavia: “Computer programming is journalism”

Image of Kristine LoweOnline Journalism Scandinavia this week looks at innovate use of Google mash-ups and online databases by the Norwegian press.

image of snails website

“Computer programming is also journalism,” Espen Andersen, the man charged with bringing the current affairs flagship of Norway’s public broadcaster (NRK) kicking and screaming into the internet age, told Journalism.co.uk.

He should know. Andersen is one of Scandinavia leading practitioners in mashing-up news and creating new and compelling methods for ‘doing journalism’.

Aside from being an able producer of interactive maps, he’s also an advocate for making programming an essential and commonplace skill in the newsroom.

Andersen started running online databases and mash-ups for a local newspaper in Norway creating – amongst others – interactive stories about snails reeking havoc across the regions gardens.

The principles may be the same but the subject matter has changed somewhat now he’s at NRK, where his most recent creation was a database mapping Norwegian politicians; how they vote, which boards they sit on and with whom.

“The idea is to make information about these networks more easily available,” Espen Andersen told Journalism.co.uk.

He has been brought in to help Brennpunkt, the Norwegian equivalent of Panorama, use online tools more effectively in both gathering and presenting information.

His Politikerdatabasen creation currently contains information on all members of parliament in Norway and will expand to include information on the country’s 11,000 local politicians in May.

“This project is just as much a journalistic project as making a TV-programme or a documentary. It’s all about presenting information that is valuable to the audience,” said Andersen.

The aim of the project, he added, is to turn the database into a broader ‘power database’ by mapping political and corporate networks across Norway.

This mapping project followed the creation for another recent Brennpunkt documentary of a network map of the country’s oil industry.

“I think it is absolutely key to bring programmers into the newsrooms so they can get involved in journalistic projects at an early stage.

“Programmers can create solutions to process large quantities of information, e.g. from public sources, and present it in an engaging and orderly manner,” Andersen said.

Before joining Brennpunkt, Andersen created several high-profile online databases and mash-ups for local newspaper Budstikka.

“I learned quite a bit about what kind of stories engage people when I worked at Budstikka: it is often issues that are very close to them. For instance, we made an online map where people could fill in their parking fines,” he said.

“Using databases we were able to summarise the fines to find which parking lots people were most annoyed with. It was a great success.”

Other projects that were big hits with the local community was an interactive map detailing which parts of the region were most troubled by snails killing off plants – a huge problem for passionate garden owners in the area (see main image), and an event map on Google maps.

The latter showed all events taking place in the area the newspaper served, and even garnered international attention.

image of Espen Andersen

“It’s typical of working for a local newspaper that you think you are working on a really big story on political budgets and trends, and you find people do not click on the story at all,” Andersen (above) said.

Information for the databases and maps, he added, are usually taken from publicly available listings, databases and other sources such as the tax lists, Company’s House, polling companies.

“However, it is a problem, especially for local newspapers, that public institutions often charge big fees for this information which has been gathered on behalf of the public, using the taxpayers money,” he said.

These few problems aside, he’s hopeful that in a few years programmers in the newsrooms will be as natural as having picture editors.