Progress in Swedish media’s blog approach

Swedish daily Norrbottens-Kuriren is doing something right. Today it launched a citizen journalism initiative called “Blog of the week”. A different blogger is invited to blog on the paper’s web site each week and the first blogger out is Lisen Ellard, dancer and radio journalist (how typical…).

Most previous blogging efforts from Swedish media so far has only been to add a blog to the arsenal of the paper’s regular staff of opinion makers. Or far worse, they add some sort of lame diary page without any basic blog functions (read permalinks, RSS, etc) and call it a blog. The most recent example is Dagens Nyheter’s editor in chief Jan Wifstrand’s “blog” about handball (!). I don’t want to be a blog fundamentalist, but dear Mr. Wifstrand, I hate to break this to you, but you don’t have a blog. Similarly, correspondent Thomas Hall at DN “blogs” in the same non-blog format from Germany.

But back to the positive initiative at Norrbottens-Kuriren, which makes it to #4 on the Outing-scale, i.e. Steve Outing’s 11 layers of citizen journalism. It is just one of a number of examples that show us that Swedish media are starting to grasp that citizen journalism can be more than just adding comments to online articles. For example:

Aftonbladet is experimenting with blogs and apart from launching a series of own blogs, also interviewed a large number of bloggers during the summer, pointing to their blogs.
– SR (Swedish Radio) recently launched Bloggkrönikan, a blog review that comments on things written in the blogosphere, not by professional opinion makers but independent thinkers which make up the essence of the blogosphere.

Hopefully we will see even more advanced experiments with citizen journalism in the coming 12 months up to the next Swedish election.