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Minister for Culture visited Beta Borås

The Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke, was keen to learn about the Beta Borås Media & Democracy project so she visited the test editorial team at Borås Tidning. Her impression: an inspiring and positive venture.
Culture and Democrat Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke visited Media & Democracy test editorial office at Borås Tidning. From the left: Madeleine Bengtsson, Frida Dam Bergstedt, Jonathan Oscarsson Dahlén and Kristoffer Lidén.

Beta Borås is the live test environment for the research and innovation project “Young Persons’ news universe for local current affairs journalism and debate.” The project aims to identify and develop new forms of current affairs journalism and test these on the target group of 25-35 year olds.

In practical terms, this involves finding out the type of content that engages readers, the presentation formats that attract readers and how new digital technical solutions and tools can improve and enhance the user experience.

“The main take-away for me was that there is a great need for this type of research and way of working, both throughout Sweden and internationally. Learning by doing,” says Alice Bah Kuhnke.

  • The Minister met with the test editorial team for an hour and a half at which two main issues were discussed:The thinking behind Beta Borås and how its journalism and experimental working model creates a different type of local current affairs journalism compared with the traditional form. 
  • Beta Borås’s approach to embracing and testing new technical opportunities to develop both journalistic storytelling and how journalism can be packaged in more appetizing and easily accessible ways.

Watch Alice Bah Kuhnke talk about her meeting with Beta Borås

Beta Borås

  • Project participants: Borås Tidning, RISE Interactive, University of Södertörn and Media & Democracy at Lindholmen Science Park.
  • The test editorial team has four employees aged between 26 and 34 who have free reign to develop and experiment with new forms of local current affairs journalism.
  • Project period: Full-year 2018, with the live phase ending in September.
  • Financiers: In addition to the parties’ individual contributions totaling almost SEK 1.4 million, the project received external financing of SEK 1.2 million from the Cultural Committee of Region Västra Götaland and SEK 950,000 from the Carl-Olof and Jenz Hamrin Foundation.