Digital broadcast merging with Internet services – How will the media ecosystem change? – WS 06 2012
15 June 2012 | 11:30-13:00
Programme overview 2012
- Markus Boger, Swedish Radio
- Malin Crona, 8 sidor
- Ulf Johansson, Swedish Television
- Peter MacAvock, EBU
- Kristofer Sjöholm, SVT Pejl – database journalism
- Filip Struwe, Swedish Television
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This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
>> MATS AKERLUND: So hello, everybody. My name is Mats Akerlund from Swedish Radio, and I am the focal point for this workshop together with Johan Wahlberg from Swedish Television sitting there. This workshop is about media and the Internet. I will immediately leave this floor and the workshop to our moderator, Filip Struwe.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Thank you very much. So very welcome to you. My name is Filip Struwe. I work, amongst other things, anchor at the Swedish news. My company is sponsoring this together with Swedish Radio, and together we are probably the leading – we are the leading biggest public service companies, and probably the two that drives a bigger audience daily than any other media in Sweden.
This workshop is divided into three parts. Number one, we’ll begin shortly, we’ll talk about a new world for traditional media. How will the audience get access now and in the future, and how free is the net? That is our part two. And we’ll wrap this workshop up with a case study on new journalism, new ways to work, and a glimpse, we hope, of the future with the help of students working in this field.
So we are sure living in a new media landscape. This is about a journey to a more mixed and complex media world than ever, probably. It’s about technology. It’s about freedom of the net. And I have cohosts here today. I’d like to introduce Christian – both from Swedish Radio that will help me get your points and ideas in this seminar/workshop.
Please feel free to ask and contribute live via the net because I hope we sure do have an audience outside this room here in Stockholm, so please feel free to contribute at any time whenever you want. In fact, that is what you actually are supposed to do because this is a workshop, you know, and so let’s do this together.
Now let me introduce Cecilia Roos, responsible for public affairs and contact at Swedish Radio. Welcome here. Malin Crona, 8 pages, an easy-to-read newspaper for people with reading difficulties. Right? And also one of my bosses is also here, welcome here, manager at the news department at Swedish TV, former editor in chief at the daily newspaper as well. So you know both print and broadcast.
So let me start with asking you, traditional media, we used to be the exclusive owners of distribution. What would you say – let me start with you, Ulf. Is control over networks and distribution, is that still a key factor for you?
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Well, I think it’s a totally new situation because now the audience has so much more sources for news than they had just 10 years ago or 15 years ago, or maybe just 5 years ago. So we know that they can get news and get the information from very many sources. We have to – that’s a challenge for us, to use these sources and to see how we act or interact with the news sources when we produce our journalism.
But, of course, I must add that broadcast or even if it’s radio or television is still very strong if you are talking about the big audience. That’s a big difference with the new sources.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So therefore, yes, the answer is yes, you control these sources, these newscasts, and therefore, it is a key fact.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Control depends on what your audience do. The broadcast is really some technique, but the digital world and the mobile world is that you can produce TV, video, things like that very easy, and we don’t control that kind of transportation.
>> FILIP STRUWE: That’s right. Malin Crona, would you say this is a wonderful ocean of possibilities, meeting the new media, or are they more of a resource-consuming challenger?
>> MALIN CRONA: No, I should say that this is an enabler for a lot of people, people who cannot read, people who cannot write, people who have never read a book before in their entire life. You know the difference between an SMS or a novel, it’s not very complicated or very far away. But still, I don’t think that there is – there are a lot of people who don’t have access because it’s still – our language is too complicated, and also, we don’t have standards. And still, as I said, there are no one here translating into signs. I’m not – I cannot speak sign language myself yet. But still, so we’re not – we are thinking digital, we are thinking oh, all these new possibilities, but not for everyone. And if we do want everyone to have a voice, we have to – yes, we have to give away some of the control and the power and to really try to reach everyone.
And it’s not all about technique. It also has to do with approach, which words do I use, what – yes.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So I guess your point is that the new technique also excludes lots of people?
>> MALIN CRONA: No, no, it’s not the new technique. It’s the old – it’s the same old power – same old – no, it does not exclude. It has all possibilities. It’s just that we have to – yes, we have to think about it when we are trying, in traditional media, to explain the world, we have to think for everyone. Yes.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. So Cecilia Roos, where would you position yourself in the media landscape with other traditional media, new media companies compared to individuals on the net? I mean, what is your role today? Where are you?
>> CECILIA ROOS: I think this is a question about being between working alone as a journalist and working together.
In old-school journalist, you published your story, and you had your fingers crossed hoping for someone out there to follow up or at least – and if no one does, the story dies. But now I think progressive journalism is about collaborate the audience, collaborative reporting. We have to recognize that the people know more. We have to recognize the people’s expertise. So we have to collaborate with the audience much more.
>> FILIP STRUWE: That sounds great, but do we actually do that?
>> CECILIA ROOS: More and more. Perhaps we were slow starters. Me, myself – you know me, Malin. I was really an old goat, in resistance, didn’t see the point with social media. But then, inspired by Malin, actually, when she was at the news organisation on Swedish Radio, I got to realise that the consumers can provide us with information, with specific documents, with footage, everything we need to tell the story even better.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So yeah?
>> MALIN CRONA: I have to interrupt because I did see a lot of opportunities, and I still see a lot of opportunities, but right now I’m afraid because I see that a lot of traditional media, well, we think, oh, Twitter, we very modern, we use Twitter. Then you take tweets from politicians, from already known people, people that are very good at expressing themselves or even have someone to pay to express their tweets. But people who cannot spell, we do not take them because we think, oh, I cannot trust that person. People who cannot write perfect, when you don’t know who that is, we don’t use that. We do not. And that is – I think that’s a bad tendency, and yes, it makes me quite sad sometimes when you pick up the politicians – you did that the other day at Swedish Radio. Oh, listen, they said this on Twitter. They are all politicians. They already have a platform. But you do not pick up –
>> FILIP STRUWE: So the new media is just a new platform for the old people in power.
>> MALIN CRONA: Yes. It doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t have to be.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: I don’t really agree on that, actually. You said – the tweets are right. There’s a lot of people in high-ranking positions using that. But I have to follow the Twitter each night because there’s a lot of people commenting on, for example, the news show each night. That’s not only politicians. I have to answer each night for people all around Sweden. And of course, it’s not everyone on Twitter. I agree on that. Not so far. But there are new ways of discussing everything we do today, and that is really a challenge for us because we can’t just say I have comments on my website anymore because they are commenting everywhere, and there are different places where there are comments.
And we have to – I don’t know if we have to, but I think that we have to follow that and really see what’s said about us. What are they discussing about us?
>> FILIP STRUWE: What do you mean by follow? Do you mean to actually answer each tweet?
>> ULF JOHANSSON: I try to, actually, really answer tweets and, of course, mail. Yesterday I was just mail bombed by people who were angry about a thing that we missed in a report, the news show the day before, so I had to – some days I just sit and answer tweets and emails.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Yes.
>> MALIN CRONA: Yes. I used to say my job is not to publish a newspaper or a website. My mission is completed when I get that letter from someone who really cannot write, but they are trying, and they are trying to because something is happening in the connection between what we wrote and what that person was reading or someone read for him or her. So that is really – this – Filip? Nevertheless, the feeling, the feeling, what you want, the reaction. It’s the reaction that’s important.
>> CECILIA ROOS: I think Twitter is the first line of reporting, and instantly comment on something, instantly publish, but I don’t think Twitter is for all news.
>> FILIP STRUWE: But let us take a look at the demands from your audiences. You mentioned Twitter here. They want to talk to you. But I mean, is that enough, or do you see other demands from your audience? Do they actually want to see a changed journalism coming from you, where you actually take part in the world on the net, or can you just give us a picture of the new demands that you feel on your newsroom. What do you say, Cecilia?
>> CECILIA ROOS: Well, I can see they really want to contribute and make our stories to grow. For one example, I don’t know if everyone in here has heard about the Saudi weapon story. It was two investigative reporters who revealed that the governmental authorities tried to hide advanced plans for building up a weapon factory in the dictatorship Saudi Arabia. And from the start, these two investigative reporters, they wanted to – they strategically planned an open and transparency process, where they even – they didn’t only publish all the documents on our website; they planted key leads to other competitive medias to pick up on because they knew that it will be a huge impact on society if other media follow up with their own facts and with their own information. So we are trying to really make the audience to contribute.
>> FILIP STRUWE: And did you also feel that you get good contributes to that story from the audience?
>> CECILIA ROOS: Yes. For one instance, the politicians try to deny the story. They don’t want to ask questions, and they – they answer other media’s questions but not our questions. So – and the two reporters, they were communicating this on Twitter, on Facebook every step. And so one day there was this RSS Web feed on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They did actually close that down because the feed was full of comments. What are you hiding? Step forward. Start to answer the questions, and so on.
>> FILIP STRUWE: That’s interesting. Ulf, apart from your own reading and writing your paper, how does your own newsroom answer the needs?
>> ULF JOHANSSON: The answer is there are some parts of our audience who don’t want us to change at all. They want us to have it the same way we’ve done it for years and years.
>> FILIP STRUWE: For ages.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: For ages you might call it. That is one challenge. You have to really give that kind of audience also news in their way. But there is more and more of the audience that is really wanting to take part in the news. They expect us, really, to have news sources and that we know about what’s happening out there, both in Sweden and, of course, outside Sweden. If you are talking about news sources, you can always just remember what’s happening in Egypt and things like that.
And the last thing is the subject. What do we tell about? You see, the old news, political news, things like – we always reported about, or is it new kinds of trends, new kinds of issues, new kinds of things that is – I think that if you are as old adds I am, I don’t know everything that is going on in the 20s and 25-year-olds, so you have to really both invite the audience to participate, and you also have to really think about what are they talking about right now.
>> FILIP STRUWE: And do you think that you manage to do that?
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Not good enough so far. Not good enough. But we have a lot of people in our organisation, I would say, that really want to develop things like that. We are on the way.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Because lots of people say that, but at least they hope that the Internet actually rewrites the map of journalism. I mean, I think that that’s what many people hope it does. But is it just a hope, or is that a fact?
>> CECILIA ROOS: Well, I think there will always be a need for good journalism, a good story, and so I don’t think this is the end of traditional journalism at all.
You need to have reliable data and check sources and not publish biased tones and so on.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: For sure must say that Internet has already changed journalism a lot during the last five, ten years.
>> MALIN CRONA: Also, when you say listen, listen to the audience. Because I think to have good interactive journalism, you have to educate and you have to listen because you also have to educate the audience. We have to do that a lot. We are trying to tell how we do this and also give possibilities, like different common fields we can – we don’t have that yet, but we could, like, talk what language you have with pictures or whatever. But you still have to educate people, say we will listen to you and we will listen to what matters to you.
Sometimes – right now in the mainstream traditional media, I see a lot of, oh, this is what’s trending on Twitter, discussions, but there are a lot of other discussions going on about society that you can listen to.
When I was at Swedish Radio, we picked up one of those stories of one of those mothers who had a child who couldn’t go to school because the school system in Sweden has failed in many ways. And we picked up her story, and there were a thousand of other parents that contributed to this story. But it wasn’t trending on Twitter. She was just an ordinary mother. But this is going on in our society. That’s what you can hear if you really listen, not only to the politicians, not only to those very good at expressing themselves, but to what you would call ordinary people.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Which leads me to ask you who are your best friends online? I mean, where, are, actually, the news online? Are we talking about social media experts, news junkies, freelancers, activists, talented amateurs, aid workers perhaps? I mean, where do you actually find reliable sources and good pieces of info? What do you say, Cecilia?
>> CECILIA ROOS: Well, I still think our friend still is the politicians, the decision-makers, the elite, and the stakeholders. And I think we have to be better to be friends with all the citizens. So to open up. We are still an elite media, I think.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Malin, who are your friends online?
>> MALIN CRONA: Our best friends are a lot of –
>> FILIP STRUWE: Liberians?
>> MALIN CRONA: Yes, that also wants to educate and also for the journalists, it’s mothers, nurses, activists, activists and – what do you call that – –
>> FILIP STRUWE: Functional policies, maybe?
>> MALIN CRONA: Yes, all those. And the readers. Our readers, of course.
>> FILIP STRUWE: But we also look at other pieces of news here and what’s happening online, and we can have – for instance, spring last year, now we have massive reporting from Syria and Twitter. How do you think very fine news online. That is probably one of the biggest issues or problems looking at social or new media.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Yeah, it is. I felt a bit attacked here earlier.
>> FILIP STRUWE: You can defend yourself.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Actually, I hope that no one thinks we say we just follow Twitter because that is only one very small source. But the thing is that there’s – the new challenge is that you have to check sources in a completely new manner with the new situation because you can – you can have, as you said, in Syria a lot of sources, and you have to check – how do you check? Is it correct? The picture, that is who is doing what? But it’s the same way when you use the new platforms. If you go out crowd sourcing, that is a tremendous way of getting in touch with people. But you really have to check the stories anyway if you are crowd sourcing. We’ve done a lot of things like that, and I think it’s giving very good journalism. But you have all the time, you really have to do the same source check as you do if you don’t use these new tools.
>> CECILIA ROOS: I think right now the Swedish Radio is formulating a sort of code of conduct for acting on Twitter and social media, with – you get clues how to – what kind of tweets you can retweet, and is this source a reliable one? How do you know that? Perhaps Christian can help me out here because there will be some sort of protocol for how to – how to act on Twitter and Facebook.
>> CHRISTIAN GILLINGER: Yeah, we are trying to do sort of a social media manual for –
>> You have you to use the microphone.
>> Yeah, sorry.
>> CHRISTIAN GILLINGER: Is this on? What we are trying to do is sort of a manual for social media work for a public service company like ours. I work at the Swedish Radio as well as Cecilia.
I think you summed it up pretty nice there. What we are try to go do is find the best ways of interacting with our audience, not only trying to answer the questions and how to be available, but also how to interact in a collaborative way, where we’re not just – we don’t just listen and act as a sort of a receiver, but actually engage in dialogue where we participate as well as the audience.
So I think we’re trying to put that in print. There’s a lot of – we’ve been trying and working and just practicing social media for a couple years now, but this is, I think, the first time that we’re trying to collect all those – all the knowledge that we have on sort of small islands in the editorial staff, there are people that know a lot of things, but we haven’t gathered that knowledge in one place. I think that’s the – the gist of it. That’s what we are trying to do.
>> CECILIA ROOS: Sort of a handbook so you know that a person is who they say they are, not someone else.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Would you say there is a mistrust from the traditional media towards the social media? Do you set a higher standard for accuracy than other people do on the net?
>> ULF JOHANSSON: How we regard them you mean?
>> FILIP STRUWE: Yeah.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Yeah, but I think we have to really realise that there are a lot of different sources, that all the audience can see as well. And we have to decide how do we interact with them and what do we use of these sources. We can’t use all of these sources, but we must know that they are out there, and we can – we can interact with them, and we can use them in our own journalism in some ways, but the new situation is that we always must be aware that we are telling and giving one picture of what’s happening, and there’s a lot of other sources giving other things. And for the audience, they have to regard do they rely on us in the way we use them and report?
And I think that we, as a journalistic organisation, really have to be very careful how we use other sources. I think that.
>> CECILIA ROOS: It’s about credibility, but I think we don’t have to underestimate that the people can do more. They can correct us when we are wrong. So we can use – it can be quite useful for us.
>> MALIN CRONA: We still need editors, of course, and the last session here of the new journalist role, I think we can see a new journalist role, this moderator, this moderator of the social media. That’s what you do. You are trying to make a conversation, you are trying to confirm things when you get a question, and sometimes, well, you can publish it also in traditional media, but that’s one of the new journalist roles.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Please welcome you out there to join our discussion. Please, grab a mic and hop in.
>> ELFA YR GYLFADOTTIR: Thank you very much. My name is Elfa. I am working for the Icelandic Media Commission. I would like to pose a question. We were hearing this morning about how this new media and social media has been changing the political square and how, you know, the politicians are getting engaged and listening to what the public is saying and so forth. And you were also describing the same scenario where you are working. And if we see the media as being the fourth power, then we can maybe, you know, look at some of – similarities there.
So the question that I would like to pose is that in the same way as was said this morning, that you have maybe groups who are well organised and they are trying to get their agenda through, and then it’s very important that the politicians don’t just make their assumptions or make their politics from that. How is that being safeguarded then?
Also, in the fourth power, the media, where you are now in this direct dialogue with your audience, and is there like a code of conduct or something like that in that regard? Thank you.
>> CECILIA ROOS: To me it’s about classical journalism. You have to scrutinize and you have to check your sources. Now as ever.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So there is nothing new in that aspect?
>> CECILIA ROOS: No, I don’t think so, really.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: But I think that question, if I didn’t misunderstand it, is also because the politicians now have news sources, and they make decisions on other things than just what the old media is reporting. And I think actually, there are more risks that politicians are so happy that they can go beside the media that they might make the bad decisions because they say now I have 5,000 who has written to me on this subject, and I am going to make a proposition. Maybe I am a bit – I don’t know if this is true, but I think it’s a risk that they think that all these – because the journalists are used to being, really, critics to the sources. I’m not sure that the politicians work the same way. So I think there are some risks in the political world.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So that means that we might have a democratic problem here, actually.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: It could be. I’m not sure that it’s a problem, but I think that one thing that is happening now is that the politicians are very happy because they can get the things out in other ways than just have a press conference, or they can let you know – I think it was Carl Bildt, maybe, that talked about it, and he is very keen on getting his ideas out.
>> CECILIA ROOS: He can set the agenda.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Yeah.
>> MALIN CRONA: And I also have one other answer. In Sweden we have this system where we have a responsible editor, so I am responsible for what everyone is publishing in my newspaper and on my website. So that is one way of assuring. That’s also an answer.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Please let me check. Do we have any comments online to discuss here in the room? Not yet. Okay. Please just let me know if we have some.
But we have another question. I think this gentleman up here. Please wait for the mic. There it is.
>> I just wanted to say that politicians must also take care and verify these crowds coming in. And if they don’t, they will probably have a short life as politicians.
But they have no – not at all the same kind of rules as the media do have, of course.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. We have perhaps another comment right over there. Please join us.
>> Hi. My name is Farah from England, a freelance journalism for The Guardian. I just had one comment and a question. I think one of the reasons that The Guardian has become very popular amongst young people is because of it spearheading the new media and engaging with people online. So with many of its pages, it will encourage people to tweet their comments on there or engage in the comments section online. And I know many of the desk editors also have Twitter accounts and are always tweeting during the day while they are at their desks and engaging the audience. I think that sort of input into journalism is really, really crucial for the way journalism is moving forward.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Would you say that’s crucial for the new journalism, media, for publishers and editors?
>> Yes, I would. I think there is a demand for it by the consumers, so if the journalism industry doesn’t cater to that demand, consumers will ignore the industry and just go online and do it all themselves.
My question to the panel is really about the perpetual discussion about objectivity within media. The lady at the end mentioned how you think that traditional media is still very important, and you mentioned the role of objectivity. And I wondered what the panel thinks on how social media has changed the public’s perception of objectivity in journalism.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Very good question.
>> MALIN CRONA: Very good question.
>> CECILIA ROOS: I have to say I’m a big fan of Paul Lewis at your number, and I think I heard him talking about the capacity of the citizens in self-regulation. So I think that they can self-regulate, and we have still our job to be objective, to be impartial, and to the editorial work.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Do you want to add something to that?
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Well, I usually don’t use the word “objectivity,” actually of journalism. I think “impartial” is better. That is what we really have to do. We have to really put out different views, different sides of problems and aspects, and that is still something that we have to act on.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. I think we have another question right at the back, please.
>> Hi. I am from regulatory agency. I have a question for you. I am very glad you said that you are very responsible as editor for the publishing and everything on the Web site. Could you tell me just exactly what the boundaries are right now regarding the – your actually deciding freedom of expression, behavior of your consumers, of information, the people who are reading your newspapers, et cetera. So as editor, you have an opportunity to say that something is not in line with your statute, with what you think is code of practice or whatever it is. Can you compare with the traditional media and this new one?
I know there’s much more effort for that, but what is the situation? What’s the behavior of the consumers? Did you move your – because you said, as you used to, you said right now you have that editorial responsibility, and I presume there is a team. What’s your boundaries? Are you moving as a new landscape changing, or is it almost similar to traditional media?
>> CECILIA ROOS: I think you have to watch out for the net trolls. So I think you need to moderate the comment fields and so on on our websites.
>> MALIN CRONA: I hope I got your question right. The demands for an editor now and before. Of course, I think some editors sometimes want to be very fast. You want to be first. And that happens once in a while. For me, I prefer to be correct than to be first. And sometimes, of course, my journalists can be angry at me when I ask them to check once more, check once more, check once more. So a good journalistic job also sometimes has to take its time, of course, so you can check everything.
But I think it’s – still, it’s very important, this system we have in Sweden, that I can publish anything. I can publish anything. No one can censor before I publish. But I can be punished after I’ve published something wrong. But I think that is very important. Was that an answer?
>> I mean the question is yes, of course, that’s also the same situation. Censorship in the government in Bosnia, even if we are dealing with broadcasting, also the new media, of course, you can publish whatever you want. And as a state agency, we can fine you. That’s not the problem.
But my question to you is there are boundaries within your team, boundaries, legal framework in which you can, let’s say, swing to try – is there something – hate speech, is there something, problems that you will publish at all? So are those boundaries the same as they used to be, or there’s new liberal much more since we have this social networking and people are influencing on the news you are producing, the information. They want to participate. How are you dealing with that right now?
>> FILIP STRUWE: I guess it’s not wrong to say there is a struggle going on within the news departments at all – both smaller and bigger companies, I’d say. What do you say about that, Ulf? I mean, you have the more progressive, put it out there, listen to the net, and then you have the other traditional media. That’s an ongoing fight.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: I would say that the big difference is that the traditional media, they have the same legislation, the same laws, too. And there are very few boundaries if you are talking about legal ones. It’s more ethical standards.
But that is only the media that has the responsible editor that is following that. There’s a lot of websites with nothing there. You have troubles finding who is behind the website and things like that. They don’t usually at all follow any laws or ethical standards. So you have to – you have to look at what happens inside a newsroom.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Inside the newsroom.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Inside a newsroom, the legal ones are the side. The Internet and news sources are always pushing traditional media before them. We have to really think before we go too far in meeting the new ways of reporting, if you are talking about publishing names of suspected –
>> FILIP STRUWE: Suspects.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: Yeah, suspects and things like that. But we are changing in the new situation.
>> MALIN CRONA: I also have to say that we have some dangerous tendencies among the politicians in Sweden as well. They want to restrict freedom of speech, freedom of expression. They have been discussing this new law against photographing and things like that. So – and then the politicians, they use the reference and say it’s because of these online journalists, and we won’t punish the traditional media. But of course, you cannot know that before. So I think of course the responsibility is more important than ever from the editors, but we really have to not listen to those voices, say we have to be strict with more laws, because people can take a photograph of you when you’re naked, then we must forbid everyone to take a photograph. So that’s – I had to say that.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So it’s time to wrap this up. Finally, short, be brief, now, please, my media panel here. My last question, we live in a 24/7, 365 days global media world. The world never sleeps, and news is continuous. Can you cope? Will you step it up, and will you have a big role, an important role to play in the future, or will you see more challenges coming from online, attacking traditional media?
>> CECILIA ROOS: Well, at the Swedish Radio, we tried – we have this project to test if we were going to start 24/7 news channel on the website, and there’s no decision yet, but I think we have to be where the audience is with all our content. So I don’t think if we can win the struggle, but I think we need to be where the audience is, and we have an obligation to be on any and every platform there is.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. What do you say, Malin?
>> MALIN CRONA: I agree. We have to be where the audience is. And my last word will be we still need good editors.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Ulf?
>> ULF JOHANSSON: I think that so far we have really succeeded in having a very strong position, and the only way we can do it is to continue to be reliable, and I think that people really want to listen to our voices. That is the only way we can still be strong, I think.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Thank you very much for coming here. And that’s the end of part one of this workshop.
Please welcome my next three guests, Peter MacAvock. Please enter the stage. Peter, do you hear me? And Patrik Faltstrom, please welcome on stage. Peter, head of technology and development at EBU. It’s the largest organisation of national broadcasters in the world. Patrik Faltstrom, a Swedish international classic, might I say so? Head of research and development at the nonprofit Internet infrastructure organisation, Netnode.
And Chairman of the Board of the – welcome here.
So under what technical, political, and financial terms are the new and traditional media brought to the public? This part of the workshop is about the access to and the neutrality of the net with the consumer in focus. Please let me start by asking you what are the driving trends in the consumer patterns of today? What do you say about that, Hans?
>> I don’t know what perspective you are coming from, really, but what we are seeing now is that we see a clear shift in the media industry, in particular within the broadcasting industry, where the broadcaster is no longer the broadcaster. It’s a man, an individual in the street that is a broadcaster, will become so more frequently going forward. That’s definitely a pattern, and that’s something that traditional media is going have to adjust to and they’re starting to adjust to.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. Peter MacAvock, driving patterns of the consumers.
>> PETER MacAVOCK: So taking the last point first, I think once we see a trend for the consumption of what is called user-generated content, there’s no doubt that linear content and what we would term long-form media content, so long-form media content is content that is longer than five minutes. The delivery of this content, either in a linear or nonlinear delivery mode, is rising, and we see a shift in balance between linear, the stuff you watch live on TV, and nonlinear, the stuff you watch nearly live.
And if you look at the volumes of traffic that broadband networks are now carrying, you will see that the availability of good-quality and attractive devices for the consumption of this content means that there is an explosion in the volume of video media that is being carried over the Internet.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Patrik Faltstrom, are – these new demands on the infrastructure, how is that met today?
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: First of all, I think one of the problems for the media industry is that they are not meeting the demands. For example, I think one of the largest changes that has happened lately is that if you look back, for example, 20 years, it was the ability for the producer of media to decide where and how that media material was consumed. And specifically for some public service companies, they were both producing the media and distributing it. But today it is the consumer who chooses how and where to consume that material.
That means, for example, for a public service company to be able to reach the goal of being able to reach, for example, 90% of the population in Sweden, that means that the media material itself that is produced must be available everywhere where the consumer decides to be. And because of that, I see a big discussion at the moment where specifically public service in Sweden is stuck trying to decide still how they are going to distribute the material. So the biggest problem at the moment is that this change in who decides how the media material is consumed will force, I hope, the media companies to separate their role as a distributor from producer of media. But I don’t see that has started yet.
>> FILIP STRUWE: But who actually decides that, then? Who is in power and in charge of the bandwidth and the net.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: We are not there yet. Just look at the discussion that still goes on in Sweden whether we should launch the DAB network.
>> PETER MacAVOCK: Very important point, we are actually discussing this over a glass of I think it’s banana juice or something outside there. It was very nice.
There’s an interesting difference between the manner in which broadcast services are distributed and the manner in which services are provided over the Internet. And that difference is that about 15 years ago, sometimes 20 years ago in some countries, unbundling of the distribution responsibilities of broadcasters from the media content and packaging.
So SVT, for example, doesn’t deal with a supplier to distribute his content. Interestingly, that supplier does not have a direct relationship with the customer, but it has a number of obligations. But there is a clear separation of function between that distribution and the content production, and the critical difference is that distributor does not have a direct relationship with the customer.
In the Internet world, it’s different. In the Internet world, you have a telecommunications incumbent who typically owns the fiber, and he will supply a range of services over that fiber as well. The critical thing here is that there has been partial unbundling of this difference between the provision of the service and the services that are provided over that network. But only partial. And that causes a number of conflicts of interest when it comes to managing what traffic goes across that network.
So the basic problem you have is that with the Internet and the infrastructure it is, you have a basic – that is different to the case in the broadcasting world where the broadcaster typically has a deal with the service provider, the guy who actually owns the physical infrastructure, but that physical infrastructure owner does not have a deal, then, with the consumer. He’s not trying to supply any services directly to the consumer. He is supplying them to the broadcaster.
>> FILIP STRUWE: What do you say? What are our biggest challenges in getting your services directly to the consumer?
>> We leave that much in the hand of the consumer. We are not aiming to be a destination, aside from consumption of video. So we build quite simple, smart solutions to share where you have your base online and not trying to drive traffic here.
I had a fight with EBU two days ago. I had a fight with Sky News yesterday. I’ve been arguing with CNN, NBC, ABC, et cetera. Finally, they are getting to understand that you have to create some kind of relation. You have to give proper credits.
>> FILIP STRUWE: What do you want? Cash?
>> Well, of course, we spend so much time with activists over two years creating so much online content getting zero pay for it so far. We need to have some cash in, of course. We need to primarily, though, ensure that full credits are given to the person who is actually creating that content. And TV media has been so poor in doing that, and that’s really upsetting.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. Patrik.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: If we look back and see what kind of changes are happening, I think we have come further than the gentleman from EBU. I think if we look back, we were distributing, for example, TV only over the terrestrial radio network. Then we start to see alternative sometimes competing ways of distributing things.
Then when we got IP transport, which is one of the cheapest if you look at per quantity of information, one of the cheapest, not expensive, cheapest way of distributing information, we saw that there were discussion about distributing Internet and then distributing TV as a separate service parallel with the Internet. But that is something that luckily has gone away. What we see today is instead, for example, all the TV and radio channels now do both on-demand and linear programming on top of the Internet. And that’s a really big change.
Now, of course, that creates some more stress, for example, the IPR agreements and stuff, which is bound to geographical boundaries. The question is is it where the device is? Is it where the individual is? Those kind of things. Or is it what the residency of the individual is?
So the question is what will be the next big change after we move things to the Internet? Is it – is it that we will – today, every TV and radio station is developing their own player or they do their own Web solution. How come we cannot have sort of – if, for example, BBC iPlayer is the best player in the world, how come not all public service industries in Europe are using that?
Or, for example, for radio stations, is Spotify a competitor or a transmission channel? Those kind of decisions are something that the producers of the content must decide upon if they want to still reach their customers.
>> FILIP STRUWE: But why is that so crucial? I mean, what are you saying?
Spotify is here, that is the solution for online screen and music for the rest of history?
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: No, I think traditional media companies that produce media, news, I think they have to take a step back. I do understand that they want to control also the distribution channel and do have a contract with whoever is distributing the material, but I think if they continue to try to do that, given how many different kind of platforms their consumers are, if they do that, amount – the number of sort of the penetration, for example, the people in Sweden they will reach, they are able to reach, will go down. So they have to – they have to go out on the hockey field and start to play hockey and get over with that they will not be able to control and have an agreement with distribution mechanism and distributors.
Then the question is should they have any contract or pay for any distribution at all, or should they use all the money they have just to produce material?
>> FILIP STRUWE: What do you say, Peter MacAvock? Are you game for some hockey?
>> PETER MacAVOCK: I’m not a very good hockey player, but the – the – a couple of interesting points there. For those that don’t know – and it may be higher than this now, but there are 24 different versions of iPlayer that need to be produced in order to target the online consumption of the BBC’s catchup television service. It may be 23 or 24, but it’s somewhere in that region.
Interestingly, in a broadcast world, the BBC delivers its linear content over cable, satellite, and terrestrial television networks. And the number of times they have to purpose the content for those is once.
So there’s a critical difference between the facility with which we’re able to deliver content over what you call traditional oldy worldy networks and new networks. And there is currently an explosion in the number of devices that we’re called on to support, and that costs lots of money. And in the game of producing content, as an engineer, I hate this idea, but most of the money is spent on talent.
I agree that that’s what you go to watch, and therefore, that’s where the money should be spent. But we need to avoid at all costs – excuse the pun – all the money going on engineering work. We’d like it to continue, please, to be for talent.
So what we need to do in this world where there is an explosion in the online media consumption is we need to identify the ways in which we can efficiently ensure the distribution of that content. Things like HTML5 will become very important because it will allow us to reduce the number of versions of media that we need to produce in order to serve different formats.
So I suppose that’s the first thing. The second thing is that if you look at the manner in which media companies operate online – I take the point that there’s lots of user-generated content out there. There’s lots of other types of content that we can get involved in. I think the media companies are starting to realise and, indeed, our colleagues in Sweden are probably the most advanced in terms it of the integration of social media functions within standard form content.
But once do you that, you’ve got to also realise that the vast – the majority of the traffic that’s being carried over these networks is still video content. You still want to watch video. Actually, there’s not a problem with that. That’s not wrong. But let’s not forget that. So we talk about all these new forms of content that we can do, but you’re all still watching TV, basically.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Would you like to add something to this conversation, or I can move to this question. Are the costs of volumes proportional to the consumers’ will to pay? You talked about earlier who is going to pay the big companies. Let’s follow the money. The money comes from the consumers.
>> Not necessarily, I would say. I would say that online video, particularly user-generated video, hasn’t yet found a business model, worked it out, really.
But from what we can see in terms of financial – what you asked in terms of distribution. We have a partnership with Associated Press, so they use our video, I would say, three or four times a week, and it’s pretty much every day they use it, the most used video content by customers.
So recent demand for – especially now in Syria, Russia, Finland, England, Spain, Germany, like they have 5,000 reporters out there. We have hundreds of thousands that can create content. And I think the biggest challenge for TV media today is to figure out how to crowd source, how to create relationships with that individual user in the street. And there are many ways of doing that, but no one – AP has come the furthest, I would say. Reuters is pissed off. I called them and told them to take it down the other day, they sent out an excuse
>> FILIP STRUWE: A lot of traffic is driven by free online content or at least content that lots of people think ought to be free. So let’s take a look at the business models. Again, how would they evolve in order to ensure the further growth of capacity and explosion of capacity on the net?
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: I think first of all, as I said earlier, it’s very important to separate the actual production of the content from the distribution. And if – when it is – so when talking about, for example, BBC iPlayer and the other players, I’m a little bit surprised that the media companies actually try to develop their own players because that’s a lot of work that, like we just heard.
Having competition would be much more interesting, and in that case maybe not even the media companies have to develop those players. If it is the case that I can choose between BBC iPlayer or the TV4 player or SVT Play, pick the one that I think is the best and then I access the content.
Now we come to business models. We have two things to pay for. You have to pay for the bandwidth, and that’s something the end user is paying for, their Internet access. There we have to – if it is the case that the user wants to see more high-definition player, that it’s more IP packets which they have to pay for.
The second thing is the payment for the content. And we already do see emerging mechanisms with encrypted distribution of TV, and that is something which also I’m working with a little bit. How come, for example, what is broadcast over satellite with those cards, where you actually need to have a card to decrypt this, how come that is not distributed over the Internet? If it is distributed over the Internet, then also people who had a balcony towards the north here in Sweden would be able to see those channels.
So we need to separate payment for the channels and the actual agreement between whoever is producing the content and the end user. That way you can have a contract – an agreement between the two players whether the content should be paid for or free, but we should not mix that with payment for the transport.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay.
>> Just to add a small note to that by, for example, Live Stream, which is a huge player in the sector, huge generating content. They are not covering the bandwidth cost with advertising. Same goes for us. We are not close to covering bandwidth cost with advertising.
We have to find models. We are working to a couple, but it totally excludes advertising at this stage. We are not even looking at it really.
>> FILIP STRUWE: In this commercial environment, how free is the net today? Let’s get back to the roots of the net neutrality discussion here. You see more locked-up Internet.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: I think one of the problems is people don’t understand how much they pay for IP packets. That’s why we see blocking of voice over IP. One thing I am fighting for is we actually get a definition of Internet access that people buy and they understand how much that costs.
My estimate is that in Sweden, which is a pretty cheap for access, people should pay $500 to 550 Swedish krona. The question is whoever is carrying the IP packets, who where do they get that from? From various different kinds of services. So I think we need to separate the layers and try to find business models that are sustainable for each layer individually. And then we can move into sort of in EuroDIG 2013 and talk about what they look like.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Now it’s the operators in Sweden that you actually have to pay for services. I think they want you to pay for voice over IP, Skype.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: Yeah, what they talk about is that they will have many different kinds of access products. Some of them are limited and some of them are not.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Is that a threat to freedom of the net or just a smart business model?
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: It’s a smart business model because then the end user can choose between where whether they buy cheap access or – they must be able to pay for whatever they are. We cannot keep companies from distributing bad products. In Sweden, the ability for companies to produce products, sometimes they are limited, is part of the –
>> FILIP STRUWE: Actually forbid you access to one Internet site online called Skype. Only on mobile, if you don’t pay.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: Yeah, but the question is whether that is clear enough in the agreement. If it is, there’s nothing you can do about it. What you could do, the end user, if you have a dominant provider and if that dominant provider do not provide you the open Internet access and the limited one, in that case, it’s possible to step in and say no, you are actually – you also have to offer this other product. But where we are now, we don’t even have the definition of the complete open product. We don’t have an agreement on the market what that is. So we are already talking about the hypothetical situation that people might get one product or the other one, but we don’t know what we are getting.
>> PETER MacAVOCK: If I might, so I take the point, but is the reason Skype is being blocked because it consumes too much bandwidth or because it conflicts with the business model provided across another set of applications by the same provider?
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: There are two – there are two reasons. One, someone that is selling access cannot increase the price for the same product on the market. Then you’re dead in the water because of competition. So the access providers today, they have gone down and lowered the price for broadband access too far, and they cannot access – so they need to deteriorate the quality of the product they’re selling and launch a new product for a higher price. That’s one of the arguments. And the other one is also, of course, competition with services they provide themselves.
>> PETER MacAVOCK: Right. So just one final. I think in an environment where you have a bundled service package being provided to the consumer, the guy that is not part of that bundler, doesn’t own that infrastructure, is the guy that is unfortunately going to be disadvantaged. So if I was Microsoft – Microsoft’s a bad example, I suppose – but if I was Microsoft, I’d be pretty annoyed by the fact that one of my services which is available free to a range of customers and has a business model associated with it is being blocked because it potentially conflicts with the service that’s also being provided over the same cables by another supplier.
Okay. If that’s what people want, that’s okay, but it means that if I’m not part of this arrangement, then I am being disadvantaged, Potentially.
And let’s say the organisation in question chooses to provide video services. Okay. Then do I then disadvantage everybody who supplies video services over the Internet? And how far does it go?
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: Well, just one short thing. You cannot mix bundling with locking out competing services. This is a pretty complicated discussion that will take more than this session.
>> FILIP STRUWE: I think so. Hans, please.
>> There are quite a lot of research, particularly when it comes to the mobile operators and capacity, and like privilege here in Sweden with the 3G or 4G we have. Wherever you go in the world, it’s more competitive.
I can understand the desperation among the operators, like research. They say different things. But data traffic, mobile network is going to increase like 10, 15 times over the coming two to three years. And they have a capacity problem already. So I can totally understand they are super afraid of other features cannibalizing their existing business models.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Do we have any comments from you in the audience? Please feel free to comment on this issue, discussion. Or I will wrap this up by asking this question. Do you think that there are – is there a need for a stronger regulation? If so, what do we need to regulate, and who should do it? Patrik.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: I think, for example – I think the most important thing is to get this open Internet access. If we need regulation, then we unfortunately need regulation. I still hope that the market can sort that out. I still believe in the market economy forces, including regarding the actual distribution. So no, I don’t think we need to regulate anything yet.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. Do you agree with that?
>> I agree. We don’t need more regulation. There is regulation enough. There are always going to be extremes that you are going to have to look into, but the legislature is always like two or three years behind, so I think it’s going to be like that for the coming five to ten years as well.
And who should deal with it, I have no idea. Maybe you should call (Indiscernible) in San Francisco. He has pretty good idea about that.
>> FILIP STRUWE: What do you say about regulations?
Less or no?
>> PETER MacAVOCK: I don’t actually believe it necessarily needs regulation at this point. But let me alter, for the sake of argument, an alternative view.
We have a situation where the broadband access is working reasonably all right. I think in Sweden you are very lucky by all accounts. I had a recent discussion with some luminaries in the European Commission. There are some. And the view was that the vast majority of wireless broadband traffic is being carried over wi-fi networks. And actually, the very valuable spectrum that the mobile network operators have been purchasing isn’t being used to the extent to which free spectrum available in the 2-gigahertz band is actually being used.
So it begs the argument why isn’t the spectrum allocated to mobile broadband being used to the extent it could be used? And perhaps, actually, that if we were to apply some of the rigor that we’re discussing now in the area of wireless networks to wired networks, then we might have a situation where there was greater traffic being carried over wireless broadband networks.
So maybe, just maybe the first thing that needs to happen is that the rules that apply to wired networks and all the big network neutrality discussion, maybe they should be applied, first of all, to wireless networks. Then after that, then we can have a discussion about whether more regulation is required in either of those two.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. I think that’s the final word for from this panel. Thank you very much.
(Applause) now please welcome Kristofer Sjoholm, manager at Swedish Television’s database journalism project, Pejl. I tried to translate that into English. I don’t know, tracker. Could that be a word?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: Yes, knowledge.
>> Welcome also Shorez Zare and Dennis Andersson, but students starting journalism and multimedia combined.
So the Internet and data basis means a lot of new ways to find news. Soon we’ll here more about that. But first, let me turn to our students here. Do you have any spontaneous reflections on the part one, mainly, and maybe part two of this workshop would you say?
What would you say about traditional or new media in part 1, Shorez? Do you have any comments on that one?
>> SHOREZ ZARE: I think there’s a lot of interesting discussion, and one thing I thought about when Malin Crona was talking about how to include and exclude people. I think there’s a lot more we journalists have to think about. Me, myself, I’m not born in Sweden, and I always – I’m becoming to think about more how to – how to reach people who don’t have, like, Swedish as a first language because if I look at friends that I have and their parents, they go to their own country’s media now through Internet and satellites and follow the media there because it’s, of course, easier to –
>> FILIP STRUWE: But do you think that the new media actually increases the risk of excluding audiences?
>> SHOREZ ZARE: I think maybe it can do and does, but I think if we use it in the right way, it could include in a lot of ways as well.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. Kristofer – sorry, Dennis, do you have any more comment to this? Soon to be a journalist in the new world.
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: Yes, soon to be a journalist. I was just thinking of in the first discussion that the panic that Internet is on journalism. It’s the same that we hear as guest speakers that come to our school, we hear this panic. Internet is running away, and journalists have to keep up. And sometimes I think hey, stop, let’s just think about this.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So your message is: Don’t panic. Internet is our friend.
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: Don’t panic. We are going to talk about this later. Yes.
>> FILIP STRUWE: I’ll look forward to that. Let’s do a case study. Kristofer Sjoholm, in short, what is this Pejl tracker, this database within the news service? Tell us.
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: We a team of three developers and five journalists at the time that worked with Swedish Television doing CAR, computer-assisted reporting, is the main what you call this in the U.S., and in Europe we talk about data journalism or database journalism.
And there are several aspects of it. In some ways we do these kind of news apps. At the Pejl, we have done one big election, we had all the election candidates in Sweden in a big database, public where you can find a lot of information, and you can also test yourself against what kind of issues they like and what I like and who should I vote for.
We also have on schools and crimes, where we make the authorities statistics really easy and accessible to people.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Is it correct to say this is kind of a personalized service to the audience, where they can find their answers close to them?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: Yeah, definitely. I think generally what kind of variables and statistics we – and how we do it is really the journalistic thing. But when we have done that and narrowed it down, it’s really up to the people to get the story themselves. In the traditional media, you pick up the best story or the one that says something that you want to be said. But in this case, you can – every people can get their bit of the story, where they live or what interests they have.
>> FILIP STRUWE: In general, everything leaves digital footprints. How does in – that database journalism actually changed the media world and the news content?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: I think in Sweden it really hasn’t yet. I think we are coming there. I don’t think it’s so dramatic. If you see the changes in technology and the access to data, that’s kind of natural, I think, that we are going in that direction.
And now I see, really, in the U.S., they have this computer-assisted reporting in the ’90s and ’80s, and it was really much about analyzing a lot of data and making investigative journalism in that. But now I see a very interesting – Web developers, we do a lot of applications, visualizations.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Can you describe actually what do you do, what kind of tools do you use, and what does it look like?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: Yes, I started to say these kind of news applications we do, but we have also done two major projects with crowd sourcing where we have done on labour – the labour market, the unemployed, that they tell their stories, and then we do other journalism in the traditional television on that. And we also have made big ordinary crimes that people don’t really get the headlines, but it’s really important to people to tell about the police that don’t really do their work on the ordinary crimes.
So we have all have these news apps, we have crowd sourcing, and we have also visualizations where we have this big data and we try to make people aware of what it means, really.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Do you have any problems in harvesting data? Do you work only with open sources, or do you actually have to ask for and extracting from authorities?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: Yeah, definitely. Definitely it’s a problem to get. In Sweden, we have really a grand tradition to access documents and information from authorities, but the problem is it’s really analog. And when it comes to digital, the authorities is kind of scared of letting us have all this data. So in some ways, we have, like – like this amount of paper sent out from a database that we have to scan in ourselves to get into our database.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So they sit on digital data, but they send you papers?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: Yes, because they don’t have to send it digital in Sweden.
>> FILIP STRUWE: But why is that?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: Some data is sensitive, and then they don’t want to make it too easy to access it. That is really interesting. In the U.S., the Obama Administration went to – 2008, they got to the elections, and really transparency we open up, this open data movement. And they have when it comes to unsensitive data. But when it comes to sensitive data, we really have the other way around.
So the greatest publishers in the world doing this in the U.S. for public and New York Times, LA Times. They have even worse getting this information, this sensitive authority data, now than they had before in the Bush Administration.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Can you give us some examples of what kind of news that actually lies within these huge databases? What kind of info can actually extract from it?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: It can be anything. You know, the thing is that you have all these details, so it’s more like you can have it in environment, you have it in schools, crime statistics, stuff like that. But the difference is that if you do an ordinary investigation or a documentary, you have a lot of people and you ask a lot of questions, and then you get answers and then you get the story out. But now we have a lot of data that we ask the questions.
But really interesting, if we can’t ask the right questions, then you can’t get anything out, then it’s just data.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Right. And – which leads me to my next questions, because you are a Web developer yourself. You work closely with journalists as well. You need lots of technical skills, but you also need the knowledge to put the right questions.
So what do you say about the cooperation between traditional journalists and Web developers? What happens in that field?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: I think it’s one of the key issues that we have success with, kind of, but we really fought for it to get that, is to get the journalists and the Web developers not just working in the same room, just working in the same team, really. You have to – the Web developers in our team is as crucial to – as a photographer for news production. And that – these different skills sit together and not separate. Because traditional, you have these technicians that sit in one room or often in another level of the – the building, and you have these journalists who do their thing in one place. And that’s a big problem. If you are going to do something really innovative and new, you have to mix these.
And the interesting thing also, you have a lot of journalists that get into coding and presentation in the Web, and you have a lot of coders that really are interested in journalism. And when they meet, interesting things happen.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So could actually see and imagine a future where the roles of a journalist and a Web developer melts together and become a new specialty?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: I hope so, but the challenge is that the old structures, as we heard with social media as well and traditional media, it’s really tough to get there because in you don’t really have – used to work these different competencies together – but that’s the only way forward, I think. But it’s not easy in a big company.
>> FILIP STRUWE: But why not? I mean, it’s 2012 now, and computers have been around for at least 30, 40 years, or maybe longer. Help me out here. We live in a computer-based world for a long time. Why is this still new?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: I don’t know. Everyone uses the computers, but if you have like coding skills and data skills, you see things in a different way. So you have to – you have – even for – you have users and you have those who build the systems, and the thing is in data journalism, you have to have them together, and that’s – I hope that’s the future.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So we see that database journalism is still in the quite early stages in Sweden. Would you say that?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: Yeah, definitely, but it’s really a lot of big organisations that’s interesting, and really grass-roots level as well.
>> FILIP STRUWE: If you take a look at the rest of the world, U.S., who are the forefront?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: U.S. definitely. They have been in computer reporting, they have been like for 15 years in the forefront. But everyone is catching up. I think Spain and England and Germany.
>> FILIP STRUWE: So what potential do you see in this kind of reporting for the future?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: I think it’s – I think it’s a great potential, but it’s not – we have a new society. We have a lot of data. It’s natural that journalism moves in that direction as well, as app developers and social media. We have to adapt and do good things. And I think it’s interesting to have the journalistic approach in this area because we have – we see things and we want to tell different things than app developers do.
>> FILIP STRUWE: What are – what’s your message to, actually, to your employer or to the traditional media? What are their biggest challenges in making computer-based journalism better and more competency for the future?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: Get a team together with the best developers and the journalist who is really like data and the Web.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Do you find competence in the market, the best teams, apart from yourself? Do the schools meet up?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: No, no, unfortunately not. And I know that in the U.S. as well, the journalists’ educations don’t team up with expectations for the market. Very much people in the media industry are looking for journalists that can code or coders that are interested in journalism, but they aren’t out there from the educations. They have to be self-learned or in that manner.
>> FILIP STRUWE: And here are the future. Here is the future. Welcome in the discussion. Shorez and Dennis. You read both journalism and multimedia.
>> SHOREZ ZARE: I don’t.
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: I do.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay, but you do that at Sodertorns University in Sweden. I would say at the at the forefront in bringing in, mixing in multimedia in the journalistic, future role of a journalist.
What would you say is your challenge for your work in the future? Is this that you have to be multicompetent, or what is it? How do you see your future role as a journalist? What do you say, Dennis?
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: My future role as a journalist, me and Shorez, we talked about that question on the way here because I get that question a lot from friends. So what are you going to be, they say, and I’m going to be honest for the first time, and I hate that question. Because I can’t answer it. Because I don’t know what I’m going to be.
In one year, I take the exam, and I don’t know. Maybe I’ll get a job at a newspaper or broadcasting company, or maybe I do something else, create something new on my own, on the Internet.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Maybe you will be one of Kristofer’s data coders.
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: Maybe.
>> FILIP STRUWE: What do you say, Shorez, as your future role as a journalist?
>> SHOREZ ZARE: I actually feel quite the same as Dennis as well, but about the question in multicompetence, I think we talked about – we’re talking about this a lot because is it good, is it bad, can it be both? And I think in some ways, it can be a bit negative for the journalism when you’re supposed to know everything because you can’t be best at everything. And if you want the relevant competence, how can you get that if you just want to make – we’re still human beings. We’re not robots. So I think it’s – some ways, I think it could be better to step back and not to make everybody become these multicompetent journalists.
>> FILIP STRUWE: If you look at the media world today, do you see a hard difference between news in the traditional media and the world of news online, or do you already live in the mix and synergy between the two?
>> SHOREZ ZARE: Personally, I think I live in the mix, but I think the biggest difference is the way we produce news for the social media or the Internet because they’re supposed to be easier to get, and it’s – you don’t do – I don’t think it’s as usual with the longer stories because it’s supposed to be fast and easy to get.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Dennis, I’m interested in the journalistic discussion at your school. What are the main topics of journalistic challenges and possibilities that you daily discuss?
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: The main topics that we discuss for the future is if you see to the challengers, we often talk about how we, as journalists, are going to compete with first, anyone, just anyone can publish blogs and stuff like that. But also, companies that publish what they want. And no one – what do you say? They just publish what they want, and people can get it without editing.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Right. And the Swedish social media profile, recently said that everybody can be a journalist. So is that what you meant by what you just said, that you can actually see each and every user on the net as a potential competitor?
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: Everyone is a potential threat, but I think we should say that not everyone can be a journalist. But everyone can write news. Everyone can write, but in the future, we have – we, as journalists, we have to – we have to do something to be special. So we can – we make news, as everyone else, but we have to be journalists, and by journalists, our role will be to be someone that you can trust on the Internet. That’s how I look at it.
And you – should I go on?
>> FILIP STRUWE: Yeah, go on. We still have a few minutes here.
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: The role of a journalist, as I see it in the future, is that you have to be someone that you can trust. The information that is published by journalists, you should know that you have both – both sides of a story, maybe three sides of a story.
And the second, I think, is we have to be less – this is totally against what I learned in school – but we have to be less sensational. You know? Now we write headlines that generate clicks. I think that in the future, we have to take a step back and be someone – I hear from friends that, oh, you are going to be a journalist. Oh, you just write that stuff that clicks. Lucky for us we have wiki leaks that do the job. They say. That’s how my generation looks at journalists, and we have to –
>> FILIP STRUWE: So a step back away from tabloid journalism?
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: Yes, I think so.
>> FILIP STRUWE: That sounds very serious and very good.
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: Yes.
>> FILIP STRUWE: I think. If we take a look at your future employers now, if you wish to be employed, what demands can you see will be brought upon your shoulders in the future, maybe in terms of multicompetence? Will there be high expectations on you?
>> SHOREZ ZARE: Probably, I think so, and I think that depends on how much you will interact. Now maybe you can work somewhere where you should be able to write a story for print, for Internet, maybe make a video and know how to handle all the techniques as well, and if you are one of those who can handle that and do it well, I think that’s going to be very attractive when you are going to –
>> FILIP STRUWE: And do you think that your education or your school meet up with these coming expectations on you?
>> SHOREZ ZARE: Maybe you should answer that.
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: We both study journalism, but we’re two different. I study multimedia, and you study social studies.
>> SHOREZ ZARE: Social studies.
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: So we learn a lot of the techniques, editing, both newspaper, TV, and radio. And we also learn HTML. So we can create webpages from scratch.
>> FILIP STRUWE: You also discuss social media, verifying content, all the stuff we discussed in the first part of this workshop?
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: Yes, we do, but we have not had that conversation that much, actually, about social network.
>> SHOREZ ZARE: I think we do it more privately than in the education. I think one important thing is also that technique changes all the time as well. What we learned one year ago, two years ago, who knows if that is still relevant when we are finished or not.
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: Can I get in there? I think – I have been a guest teacher and have a lot of students that are going in that education that work with me now. And I think the main issue is if you have journalists that know how to adapt to new programmes and new techniques, so it’s more like you really opened. Because the things you learn today isn’t going to be the things you do tomorrow. But if you really are keen on adapting and learning and not be afraid of learning new techniques, that’s the big difference because if we have good students that are not afraid of the technique, comparing to traditional journalists that really have their narrow aspect of it.
>> FILIP STRUWE: But do you think the schools are good enough, or do you think too traditional journalism schools in Sweden, for instance?
>> KRISTOFER SJOHOLM: I think they have two. Really the journalistic education has traditional thinking, journalistic institutions, even a big company is further than the journalistic educations. Sometimes they are getting there, but I don’t think –
>> FILIP STRUWE: Please, let’s put the mics to the first row here. Cecilia, I don’t know, the employers here. Are you afraid that you will not get the correct – the competence that you actually need in order to meet up the demands that we discussed in part one, or do you feel confident that they actually will step up and think of new media as well as being traditional journalists?
>> CECILIA ROOS: Well, I think we need both competences.
>> FILIP STRUWE: The mic isn’t on? Can you please turn on the mic or switch, maybe.
>> CECILIA ROOS: Is it on? Hello.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Now we have. Cecilia Roos with Swedish Radio.
>> CECILIA ROOS: I am not afraid of not getting enough competence. I need you guys – not just the two of you – but I see that you can learn us a lot. I think it’s good to be multicompetent, but then I think you need to specialize because in the beginning it’s good to be a generalist, and then you need to be specialized to get jobs and to be someone in the public service companies and in other media news organisations.
>> ULF JOHANSSON: I think the most important thing is the mind-set, actually. I am more interested in what kind of journalism we can do with new tools, with new ways of getting sources, and I’m not really a technician myself. I’m not good at technique. But I really appreciate what kind of development of the journalism we can see. And that is most important by the new journalists that they have a mind-set that is interested in all this.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Okay. Finally, let’s wrap this up. What is your hope and wish for the future as a journalist in both – well, in the mix of the new and traditional media journalist role?
>> SHOREZ ZARE: I have a belief and more hope, I think, that people will request the good journalism, where we have so much information, and everybody can publish themselves. So that’s what I hope. Otherwise, we’re not going to be useful in the future.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Right. And what do you want to do, Dennis? How will you want to change the world without writing click articles?
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: Well, I think that journalists still need to do analysis. We have to say this is – like we do in – how do you say – column? A column. Where we express what we say, what we think, but we also have to do this – you said the boring stuff. Because no one else is doing.
We have, I guess, (Indiscernible) recently at school. He said no one, they have open digs on their website, and he said that they published documents from Swedish communities. And he said that no one opened to read them. And that’s where journalists in the future can have an advantage because we are going to read these documents, and no one do it for free, and no one do it for fun.
>> FILIP STRUWE: There’s a lot of boring work for you to do.
>> DENNIS ANDERSSON: There’s a lot of boring work to do.
>> FILIP STRUWE: Thank you very much, and thank you all for coming to this workshop. Thank you.