Dec 17, 2016

- a course about contemporary art, critical art and the freedom of speech for artists from Norway and in Russia.

Dec 17, 2016
As reported by colleagues from the Barents Secretariat, it has been decided to invite 10 Russian journalists to the Norwegian town of Kirkenes for the legendary art festival Barents Spektakel.
Nov 25, 2016

The theme of the meeting: Is there a crisis in modern journalism? Time: November 26, from 10:00 to 12:00.. Admission is free, registration is not required.

Apr 22, 2016
Mar 25, 2016

In search of the thinking person

May 4, 2016

How can media not lose readers, listeners and viewers and not lose their social role in society? Is journalism to die or to become a new "business niche"? These issues were discussed by journalists from Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia at the annual conference of the journalistic network Barents Press International in late April in the Swedish city of Haparanda.


Curious and a bit challenging to pronounce "digitalization" was in the focus of discussions. Digitalization has breathed a new life in the media. Media has moved to a new orbit of information. Now the main concern is not to be separated from readers in this infinite space of possibilities. Not to lose each other.

Compulsion to reading?

I will start with the findings, which are disappointing: the journalist’s work in our time is becoming increasingly difficult because the readers are lazy, on the one hand (having a million of information opportunities), and on the other hand, they’ve become selective. New rules dictate new conditions, so one of the tasks of the modern journalist is the promotion of their materials. It’s not enough to write an article, we need to find the one who will read it.

In this case, according to the words of the regional manager of the Finnish YLE Jyri Kataja-Rahko, a mobile version of the website can really be very helpful:  "We in YLE pay very much attention to mobile applications. The reader sees a special adapted electronic version of the site. If people come to the site, so it is necessary to keep them there. In addition, we have "intuitive" website: it will monitor what you click and offer such similar notes”.

In addition, according to the Finnish journalist, it is necessary to personalize each reader. "We considered 8 different groups of readers and developed the concept of the Internet. We need to take a closer look at the person who reads us and try to meet him. For example, 55-year-old reader of our site doesn't like large pictures. If the article or news is supplied with a photo  for our elder readers it is important that the image shows a politician, a beautiful scenery or smiling people. The youth is something else again. This group just loves pictures, they need different content: colorful, bright, video. It matters who, how and what says to each readers’ group. Young people, for example, repel traditional "dry" language. They want to read something understandable to them, written in so-called "language of Facebook".

Contents, time and place

There is another problem. People don't want to read long news stories that require thinking. On Facebook they don’t share large-scale investigations but short funny news, it doesn’t take much time reading them. Everything is read diagonally.  

Blogger from Sweden Jack Werner said: “We performed a study and found out that worst read are texts of medium size. Journalists need to understand that popular pieces of news are those either short or long".

We should also keep in mind that journalists' work is changing along with the global digitalization. People of the XXI century become publicists placing their notes, news, reflections in social networks. Nowadays nearly everyone can produce his/her own news content. “95% of Swedish young people actively use social networks, our readers are staying at home with a computer and have the same technical capabilities as potential journalists," - said Jack Werner

Competition to gain the reader

Technical capacity of readers, emergence of bloggers and citizen journalists threatens to put journalists out of job which feeds them.. Is that really so? Ulrica Widsell, a journalist from the Swedish newspaper "Metro" notes that there is a huge competition for the attention of the public. "The time of newspapers is gradually running away. Now all information is in our readers’ phones, and news sources are all the time struggling for a grain of their attention and time. It is worth saying that journalists are not used to competition for the audience," she says, hinting that maybe can end sadly for them.

Progress does not stand still, and this means that journalism will change. Will this lead to the fact that obsessive SMM articles will turn articles into camouflaged advertising texts? Or will the consumer get tired of it and decide to turn back to traditional practice of reading that has existed for several centuries? Or maybe, following the example of communicating vessels, journalism and digitalism will merge? In this case, the authors will remain safe and will know that no one is going to replace them from the information field, and only technical support is promised.

Daria Tsygankova

Complete story in Russian is available here

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