Citizen Media Watch

mars 11th, 2009

Interesting times ahead at the tabloids in Sweden

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Today Thomas Mattsson was appointed editor-in-chief of Expressen, the 2nd largest tabloid/evening paper in Sweden. Great news, as Mattsson has made a name for himself being web2.0 friendly, listening to people and using social media to connect with his users/readers. Very exciting, and a very good choice.
Second great news is the response from the largest tabloid/evening paper Aftonbladet‘s editor-in-chief, Jan Helin. He immediately reached out a hand to Mattsson, suggesting a collaboration on the campaign to free Dawit Isaak, Swedish-Eritrean journalist imprisoned in Eritrea since 2001. Mattsson agreed to work together on this.

The two rivalling tabloids joining forces is interesting in itself, though it’s not the first time it’s happened. Campaigns in the past has made them join forces.
What’s really exciting is how this exchange took place, and where – on Twitter, where anyone could and did see and comment on the initiative. A lot of retweets tonight. Having two social/citizen media friendly editors in chief at the two main tabloids promises an interesting time ahead. Looking forward to seeing where this development will lead.

A piece of media history

Jan Helin on Twitter
Thomas Mattsson on Twitter

Update: More collaboration across publishing house borders, through Twitter – read this post from Publishing 2.0: Networked link journalism: A revolution quitely begins in Washington State


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mars 11th, 2009

Entrepreneurial journalism and the future roles of journalists

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

I’m reading Ellyn Angelotti‘s summary of the discussions during the recent Journalism That Matters conference, wishing I had been there. It is written in an optimistic tone, and the focus is on journalistic entrepreneurship.

Several journalists said they wonder if their news organizations are still too dependent on their old business models to create innovative journalism. Chris Peck, editor of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., responded that if they feel that way, they should strike out on their own.

In a time when layoffs are plentyful – atleast in the States, but the economic crisis might mean we’ll have our share here in Sweden too – maybe this is the way to go for some of the people that find themselves outside of traditional media. The big media companies here in Sweden seem to be preparing for a model with fewer employees and more temporary hired workers, if Aftonbladet/Minimedia’s new temp agency is anything to go by. We’ve seen independent journalists starting blogs that has become successful enough to relaunch their careers, such as Niklas Svensson‘s (et al) Politikerbloggen, now part of TV4. And of course blogging is also an entry point into journalism for people without academic training but with a passion for their subject and the talent of writing interesting stuff.

One of my great sources of inspiration about citizen media and the future of journalism, Dan Gillmor, is now running the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, another sign that independent journalistic innovators are needed in the future media landscape.
I’m certainly hoping recently laid off journalists can find the enthusiasm and inspiration to take this step. We need more journalists involved in the innovation online.

Well, back to Angelotti and the Journalism That Matters conference. She points to a set of interviews made by Jackie Hai, a student at the University of Massachusetts. She’s asked a number of the participants what they think is the role of the journalist in this new network of information and community of readers. It’s well worth checking out.

Also read Jackie’s blog post ”Journalists: It’s time to be the phoenix”. Good stuff.


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