How Swedish Dagens Nyheter is going to make global development popular
Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) has set a bold goal for itself. It’s trying to make the area of global development popular among its readers.
‘‘There’s an outdated view that global development only is about aid,’’ says Thomas Frostberg, editor of DN’s latest project. ‘‘But if we do this well, I think we’ll attract many new groups to this type of journalism. We want to prove this is an area the industry should be better at covering.’’
In November of last year, the European Journalism Centre (EJC) announced DN had been awarded a grant of €150,000 to launch an innovative storytelling project covering the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG). The Swedish paper was selected as one of four recipients together with Dutch De Correspondent, German Spiegel Online and WeltN24.
DN quickly sat up both Facebook and Twitter accounts connected to its project. But it wasn’t until Mar. 8 the paper launched the project’s web site, just in time for the International Women’s Day.
‘‘Early on, we sat the ambition to go live Mar. 8 because this is marked as a day of equality,’’ says Frostberg.
The launch date was of importance as equality is a central part of the new UN goals. Equality also has its own goal among the SDGs.
The project will initially run for a year. DN’s focus will be on how various actors across the world are working to meet the UN’s sustainable development goals.
‘‘It’s easy to forget that there’s still a lot to do in Sweden even though we are at the top of the line in many areas. We can still do better,’’ says Frostberg. ‘‘These goals aren’t just covering certain countries. They apply to both rich and poor countries and we will cover that.’’
DN will tell both success stories and stories about people who have ‘‘run into a wall,’’ Frostberg says.
The project’s mission is also to give readers a comprehensive picture of the work to reach the goals in different sectors.
‘‘The private sector’s sustainability work is traditionally covered by economics reporters and political reporters are covering UN summits,’’ says Frostberg. ‘‘The idea is to string together and cover these different sections and actors.’’
The site has been placed under the DN.se domain in order for the project to be able to access resources at the newspaper, such as online editors, Frostberg says.
DN is currently building the team who will work with the project. It will consist of in-house reporters, correspondents at the paper and contracted freelancers.
‘‘DN will contribute with visible resources. The effect of this will be greater than the money we’ve been awarded. But the money is the catalyst that makes the project happen,’’ says Frostberg.
However, it’s still too early to tell how much money DN will invest in the project. The paper will have a better idea of this once the year-long project is reaching its end, Frostberg says.
Some of the articles will be published in the print edition of Dagens Nyheter in addition to going online.
The site has only been live for a few days. But Frostberg’s inbox is already full of both positive and critical messages, he says.
‘‘Now it’s up to us to prove ourselves. A lot of people have said that ‘finally someone is raising these questions and will cover them in full.’
‘‘This won’t be a part of the daily news production. We are going to do deeply reported reportages and go behind the scenes. The idea is to add something that doesn’t really exists today,’’ says Frostberg.Dagens NyheterThomas FrostbergDN