Last year was no exception.
Major news events poured in thick and fast, and thanks to a strong Nordic collaboration, public service audiences were able to access the latest content from their neighbouring countries.
We take a closer look at this controlled chaos of reporting across the length and breadth of the Nordic region.
Marit Moi from the NRK news team sums up her view of the past year in Nordic news, mentioning the murder of journalist Kim Wall as a dominant event.
Sweden and SVT in turn presented a range of news that caught the Norwegians’ attention.
“We had the Swedish elections and the scandal at the Swedish Academy, but also the forest fires,” she says, adding that ties to the DR news team are particularly strong.
FACTS: MAJOR NORDIC NEWS EVENTS IN 2018
– The Danske Bank money laundering scandal
– The murder of journalist Kim Wall
– Forest fires in Sweden
– Norwegian government crisis
Danish eyes turned on Sweden
Bente Lundstrøm at DR News says that they often had en eye on Sweden.
“For DR, the biggest thing was the Swedish election. We received a lot of extra material, both live and as clips from SVT – and we continue to do so. The press conferences held by the Swedish Parliament spokesman reached us live through the fibre-optic network,” she explains.
Sidney Sangberg, Senior News Contact at SVT Online, offers some examples of Danish news that caught the public’s interest in Sweden.
He mentions the murder of journalist Kim Wall, the money laundering scandal at Danske Bank, and of course the huge attention given to the CumEx story.
The closure of the Öresund Bridge due to a major police incident also made a splash in the Swedish press. Money laundering and a presidential election The other Nordic neighbours also created headlines.
From Finland, SVT covered not only the alleged money laundering in Nordea and the bank’s relocation to Sweden, but also the Finnish presidential elections.
“From Norway, we had the Nobel Peace Prize, a government crisis and features on environmental issues, for instance electric cars,” Sidney Sangberg adds.
We now turn to Helsinki, catching up with Matti Pitsinki at the Yle news desk.
He adds another remarkable news exchange to the list.
“The allegations that Russia disrupted GPS signals over northern Scandinavia during a NATO exercise was big news for us,” he says.
Capitals keep in touch through fibre-optics
Superfast connections between the Nordic capitals make it possible to transfer live broadcasts to the other countries – as they happen.
“In this respect, the threshold is quite low. The SVT teams broadcast a lot of content and like it to be live online, and they often want to receive live broadcasts from our Nordic neighbours via fibre-optic. They can then record it or air it in parallel – depending on the particular interest,” Sidney Sangberg explains.
The Danske Bank money-laundering scandal. Photo: Lars Hartmann.
Exchanging news material is obviously of great benefit – as no editorial team can be in more than one place at a time.
“In order to cover what’s happening in the Nordic region, we need our colleagues’ material. We never have any doubt about the professional standard of their journalism. This exchange gives us a guarantee that both the journalism and the visual elements will be top-class,” says Bente Lundstrøm.
– Nordif3 is the Nordvision partners’ shared system for transmission of content, for instance single news clips
– Archive material and programme episodes are also transferred via Nordif3 NRK owns the system, and the main technology is located in Oslo. The other companies have integrated Nordif3 into their respective editorial networks
– Approximately 3500 news clips were downloaded via Nordif3 in 2018
Well prepared for breaking news
Marit Moi at NRK points to the longstanding and close relationship between the Nordic countries.
“Our economic, cultural and political ties are strong, and we have a common interest in sharing news and information. The daily exchange also makes us better prepared for unexpected major events. We have a close relationship, and we can quickly set up communication channels and exchange material in a breaking news situation,” she says.
Bente Lundstrøm would like to see an even greater focus on the collaboration this year.
“I hope that we’ll continue to work together in such a positive way, appreciating how much we all have to gain from active joint efforts.”
Marit Moi seconds that.
“We all know what our own news desk needs when something big happens in another Nordic country, and we expect to have material delivered immediately. The greatest value of this exchange is our mutual commitment to share and cooperate,” she says.