Metro involves readers OhmyNews-style

Free daily Metro will launch 26 new local web sites, one for each municipality in the Stockholm region. 50-60 volunteers will be recruited to write short articles and take photos from their area. Sakari Pitkänen, editor-in-chief at Metro, expects to fill the void from larger Stockholm-based newspapers that are not reporting from the suburbs.

The “citizen reporters” will get paid depending on how high in the hierarchy an article will make it, the highest level being the “dead-tree version” of Metro.

Pitkänen tells Dagens Media that the new reporters will get a crash course in journalism and that he is not afraid of the quality because he hopes the collective will monitor itself.

The project will start recruiting next week and launch in the beginning of May.

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Metro takes off in 17 new cities

Metro International today starts distribution in 17 new Swedish cities, reports Resumé. Metro will now have a circulation of 740,000 copies and be distributed in 67 cities in Sweden.

– From today we can finally reach the whole of Sweden with our distribution, Metro’s Managing Director Martin Gellerstedt said in a press release.

The new cities are Kalmar, Karlshamn, Karlskrona, Växjö, Falkenberg, Halmstad, Varberg, Luleå, Piteå, Skellefteå, Sundsvall, Umeå, Örnsköldsvik, Borlänge, Falun, Gävle and Sandviken.

Dagens Nyheter and Metro hires gatekeeper for press releases

Dagens Nyheter has signed an agreement with Newsdesk where the paper is paying Newsdesk to “manage all distribution of press information to Dagens Nyheter’s all news desks, editors and reporters”. Metro has signed a similar agreement, according to Resumé.

– We will sort the material in a relevant way for DN, says Kristofer Björkman at Newsdesk.

In a sales letter from DN and Newsdesk, press contacts are asked to send all press releases to a central email address at Newsdesk, but Newsdesk clarifies in an interview that it is still an acceptable procedure to send press releases directly to journalists.

I can understand that individual journalists might need help in filtering the flood of emails that are being sent to them, but I have some doubts as to whether this is the right method. But maybe I have completely misunderstood the purpose of this agreement?

Having worked almost a decade in PR I can tell that press releases rarely get picked up by journalists you have absolutely no relation to. What will happen is that PR practitioners will add the central address to their mailing lists and still continue to send press releases to their regular journalist contacts. PR people don’t want another layer between themselves and their audience. It is “bad enough” with having journalists as gatekeepers. Now the gatekeeper hires a gatekeeper? I’m not so sure. I prefer to look in the opposite direction by experimenting with a direct dialogue with the target audience as a complement, via blogs and RSS for corporate information.

Metro to open in 17 new cities

Metro logo

The Swedish free daily newspaper Metro will start distribution in 17 new cities in Sweden, according to an article in Svenska Dagbladet. Kalmar, Växjö, Halmstad, Umeå, Luleå and Sundsvall are some of the candidates. Metro have declined to comment on the information.

Metro announced today that its global daily readership is up 22% to 18.5 million readers. Metro now has 59 editions in 19 countries.


Metro abandons Swedish correction style

Metro, the largest daily in the world outside Japan according to themselves, have decided to launch a daily correction column. Corrections in Swedish papers are normally few and not in a fixed column, rather they are published where the original article was published. This is often explained with a worry about the paper’s credibility if corrections were given too much space. The tradition in the US and UK is quite the opposite and Metro in Sweden now welcome feedback from readers so that mistakes can be corrected in “Dagens fel” (“Today’s errors”).

Editor-in-chief, Sakari Pitkänen about the previous practice:

“It is an oldfashioned way of reasoning. It was probably ok before the internet. Today the correct information is spread on blogs, mailing lists and media watchdogs on the web. There is a risk that the reader might find the correction to a mistake everywhere but in the paper that published it. That would really undermine the credibility of the paper.”