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Prizewinning journalistic integration project in Media & Democracy’s first report

Media & Democracy plays a key role in disseminating new knowledge in the borderlands of trends in media and democracy. This takes place through activities such as seminars, and unique reporting. In just the past few days, the program’s very first report was distributed in its network.
Inga-Lill Bengtsson, Mohamad Kanina och Qaali Ali Shire. Bild: Martin Holmberg
Inga-Lill Bengtsson, Mohamad Kanina and Qaali Ali Shire. Photo: Martin Holmberg

The report depicts Kb Mosaik in Kristianstad – a prizewinning journalism project directly linked to several of society’s most urgent challenges and opportunities:

  • Integration and segregation
  • The media landscape of the future
  • Democratic participation
 

Media & Democracy has followed this venture for just over a year, visiting the editorial board and interviewing key people and readers. The report contains a detailed description of the project, how it is constructed and organized, and what goals it has. It also talks about the project’s biggest challenges and most valuable experiences.

 

The core is that since the spring of 2016, Kristianstadsbladet has been customizing journalism in a special effort in order to promote more inhabitants – both native-born Swedes and immigrants – being provided the conditions to take a more active part in local society. 

A central target audience is newly arrived immigrants, and one crucial editorial element was recruiting journalists of Somali and Syrian origins. Their main job is to develop and translate content from Kristianstadsbladet and to produce exclusive journalism for Kb Mosaik, which is published both digitally and on paper, where the content is published in parallel in four languages: simplified Swedish, English, Arabic and Somali.

“We don’t think it’s possible to stand aside and watch when a large group of people in our society, for whatever reason, don’t have the opportunity to contribute because they don’t understand the language or how Sweden works,” says Jörgen Svensson, editor-in-chief of Kristianstadsbladet.

 
In a world and daily life that are increasingly digitized, Kb Mosaik’s greatest strength so far is in its paper publication. Since its première in April last year, circulation has increased 300 percent, from 4,500 to 18,000 copies.

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Apart from Kristianstadsbladet, five parties support the project: Sparbanksstiftelsen 1826, Kristianstad and Östra Göinge municipalities, the municipal housing company AB Kristianstadsbyggen and Arbetsförmedlingen. In everyone’s opinion, the project has developed better than expected, and the number of partners has grown. Moreover, neighboring municipalities are showing interest

 

The venture has attracted the attention of figures such as Minister of Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke, and has been visited by international media. It has even been awarded prizes

 

The project has been funded through March 2019, and the parties have sent clear signals about making publication permanent. 

Kb Mosaik and Media & Democracy are discussing the conditions for linking research to the project over the next year to seek answers on a scientific basis to questions of whether the initiative has had any effects and if so, which.