Kristine Lowe is a freelance journalist who writes on the media industry for number of US, UK and Norwegian publications. Today Online Journalism Scandinavia asks why not integrating print and online may be the way forward.
Integration is not the recipe to become a nation’s newspaper of choice, says the editor-in-chief of Norway’s leading news site.
“It is very demanding to take the poll position both in print and online as VG has done in Norway. It demands a very strong focus on both platforms,” Torry Pedersen, the editor-in-chief of Schibsted-owned VG online, Norway’s most profitable and most read news site, told journalism.co.uk.
“Print and online are different disciplines and will only become more different. Until now, we have been so fortunate as to be able to develop on our own and build our own culture,” added Pedersen.
VG.no is organised in a different company than its printed sister publication, VG (short for Verdens Gang).
This separation has transfered into dramatic success because each company has a core business with specific aims, rather than often counter productive aims of a newspaper company producing online and print under one system.
In 2006, VG.no had a profit margin of 42.1 per cent compared to the 12.6 per cent of VG’s print edition. In week 11 2008, the news site had 3m users (according to TNS Gallup).
“Our success is to a large extent built on the fact that VG online has had its own floor and been separate from the rest of the newspaper. This is changing now that VG online has become so big we need more space, but I’m adamant that VG online will be a separate news operation,” Pedersen said.
Pedersen, who has staff keeping a constant eye on worldwide online innovation, told Journalism.co.uk that he had yet to see an example of online and print integration being fully successful.