By Michaela von Kügelgen
“I am extremely pleased and grateful to be able to continue our work on developing the Nordic media collaboration,” says Henrik Hartmann, who will be starting a new four-year term as Secretary General at Nordvision in July.
The incumbent Secretary General was the preferred choice following a recruitment process where the position was advertised in all the Nordic public service media. Chair of Nordvision, Marit af Björkesten, is pleased that Henrik Hartmann decided once again to apply for the post of Secretary General.
“There were several strong candidates from all the Nordic countries, but Henrik had the clearest visions for the future,” Marit af Björkesten explains.
Henrik Hartmann has been head of Nordvision since 2006, and his previous roles have included posts as editor and managing editor at DR.
He expects that the greatest challenge for the next four years will be to steer Nordvision in a more digital and strategic direction
“At the moment, public service broadcasting is under huge pressure, but by working together and tapping into each others’ skills and expertise across the partnership countries, we will be able to offer more unique programmes, while our co-productions allow us to lower the costs,” says Hartmann.
“There is a real need for innovation”
Marit af Björkesten points out that Nordvision has undergone some very positive developments in recent years, seeing in particular a great increase in the volume of TV collaboration. She agrees with Henrik Hartmann that Nordvision now needs to take more decisive steps towards going digital.
“There is a real need for innovation in the digital sector. This is a difficult process and presents a challenge that all the Nordvision partners are dealing with internally. Besides, potential collaboration on the technical side of things is more complicated than sharing our efforts in other areas, because all the partner companies use different systems,” af Björkesten explains.
In her view, the Nordvision partnership is essential if the Nordic public service media are to meet the challenge posed by technology giants such as Google, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook.
Henrik Hartmann emphasizes, “We must become even better at working together in order to strengthen our position against the international players.”
Nordvision provides a unique platform
Throughout the years, a distinctive feature of the Nordvision partnership has been the exceptional level of mutual trust. “In the media world, it’s not common practice to share market analyses and strategies, but as partners in Nordvision, we get a lot of support from one another. It’s not just a question of saving money. By pooling our resources, we also achieve better quality,” Marit af Björkesten points out.
In the next four years, the Media Directors along with Henrik Hartmann will invite the partners to discuss how to further strengthen and renew the Nordvision collaboration.
In relation to this, Marit af Björkesten says,
“It’s important that we dare to try out new things.”
Hartmann stresses that Nordic drama, children’s drama and and Nordic quality journalism already enjoy strong reputations around the Nordic region. He believes that in future, Nordvision will be able to collaborate in a more strategic way, allowing the partners to offer more distinctly Nordic content with even longer periods of availability, just as for instance Netflix currently does for U.S. content.
“We’re already working from a unique platform because of our existing extensive collaboration – and this strong collaboration must be carried on into the future,” says Henrik Hartmann.
The Nordvision partnership works together to strengthen public service media in the Nordic region. The partners co-produce, exchange programmes, co-develop formats and share knowledge, generating more than 5,000 TV programmes in 2017. The partners are DR (Denmark), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden), Yle (Finland), RUV (Iceland) and 4 associated partners: KNR (Greenland), KVF (Faroe Islands), UR (Sweden) and Sveriges Radio (SR, Sweden).
By Michaela von Kügelgen