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Unique test editorial team launched at Borås Tidning daily

The Media & Democracy innovation and research program has recruited a test editorial team to the Borås Tidning (BT) daily, tasked with the experiment of researching the kind of local current affairs journalism that appeals to 25-35 year olds. The team started its work on March 1.
Kristoffer Lidén, Frida Dam Bergstedt, Beta Borås

“This is a unique cooperation project driven by four dedicated employees, and including a high level of participation from the academy,” says Martin Holmberg, program coordinator for Media & Democracy at Lindholmen Science Park.

There was extensive interest in the positions. In addition, the recruitment process was not conducted in the conventional way. One of the points of the project is to discover what happens when an editorial team is mixed with unconventional competences and experiences. The test editorial team, employed on a project basis by Borås Tidning, will work entirely independently of BT’s other editorial team.

“This project is very exciting, particularly because it is something we have never tried before. I am convinced that this will teach us important lessons that will be of use for the entire media industry,” says Stefan Eklund, Editor-in- Chief of Borås Tidning, who will also be the legally responsible publisher.

The editorial team will comprise the following quartet:
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  • Frida Dam Bergstedt, 25:
    Will be editor. Has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg. Work to date has included editing for NTM Group,serving as a reporter for Djungeltrumman and temporary assignments for Borås Tidning. Has also worked as a volunteer at a school in Uganda. Frida Bergstedt’s long-term ambition is to do a doctorate in journalism and media.
  • Madeleine Bengtsson, 32:
    Has attended the journalism program at the University of Gothenburg, studied practical philosophy and completed a vocational training course for qualified researchers. Worked most recently as a multi-journalist at the Ljusdals-Posten daily.
  • Jonathan Oscarsson Dahlén, 29:
    Became a vacuum cleaner salesman after completing upper-secondary school with a sports focus. Most recently worked as sales manager and partner in a sales company.
  • Kristoffer Lidén, 33:
    Most recently employed at SP, the Swedish National Testing and Research Institute, as press officer, with responsibility for the institution’s social media channels. Studied earlier at Södra Vätterbygden School of Journalism in Jönköping. Has run his own ice-hockey magazine, Icing-cross lines.

The test editorial team’s work began on March 1 and initial publication will be at the beginning of April. The live phase of the project will end on September 30. All the member of the editorial team have some form of geographical connection with Borås.

“Freedom is a necessity”
The test editorial team’s journalism will be published on BT’s channels. Exactly what is to be published and in what forms will be developed successively during the project.

“I believe that this freedom is entirely necessary to identify and dare to test new ideas,” says Frida Dam Bergstedt.

Jonathan Oscarsson Dahlén has no journalistic experience at all. What got him to apply for the test editorial team was his interest in the project itself, as well as the urge to try something he had never done before.

“In all of my earlier jobs, I have always worked toward a clear goal. In this case, we don’t know exactly where we will end up and that is exciting.”

The test editorial team’s live work will be monitored by researchers from RISE Interactive and the University of Södertörn. RISE’s role is applied research, including the development and innovation of new digital tools and services. The University of Södertörn will study the current affairs journalism that the test team produces. And how.

“I am incredibly curious to see what this experimental research and innovation project can achieve and what sort of ‘Aha experiences’ it can give us,” says Martin Holmberg.

Facts

  • Project: Young Persons’ news universe for local current affairs journalism and debate
  • Time: January 1 through December 31, 2018.
  • Participants: Borås Tidning, RISE Interactive, University of Södertörn and Media & Democracy at Lindholmen Science Park.
  • The project’s background and purpose: To provide media companies, academies and social institutions with new knowledge on how young adults relate to the media and current affairs journalism.
  • External financers: The Cultural Committee of Region Västra Götaland and the Carl-Olof and Jenz Hamrin Foundation.