Last week, one of Sweden's largest fackförbundsredaktioner in the grave. 26 of 28 skoljournalister was bought out by the Swedish teachers ' Union. The seven lärartidningarna has now been taken over by contentbyrån Make your mark.
There are important differences between content marketing and journalism. One is that the journalist must follow the rules, like ”don't give in to pressure from the outside in order to prevent or restrict the legitimate publicity or in order to create publicity that is not journalistic justified. ”
Content marketing is, by its nature the opposite. It will create publicity, which in the first place has a specific purpose. So here is a description of the agency Make your mark themselves this: ”With the help of editorial communication – digital media and print – deepens, clarifies and enhances the image of an organization or a brand, and lead the target audience right.”
Read more: Contentbyrå takes over the Swedish newspapers
newspapers, there are actually the opportunity to compare the two approaches. Teacher's journal the educational system produced many years ago by contentbolaget OTW, owned by the same group as the Make your mark belongs to, Aller media. The teachers 'journal which is given out by the Swedish teachers' Union have so far been produced by an independent editorial board.
the School community is in many ways an excellent journal and on the reportagenivå it is sometimes difficult to detect the difference between journalism and content. But seen over time is evident in both the tone and phys, among other things, on the number of critical issues to the private owner. I have compared six editions of both papers that were released at the same time in 2017. In the Teachers ' journal, there were critical questions to the Swedish leadership in the nine articles. In Education, the corresponding figure is zero.
It dangerous is not just that more and more associations choose content in front of the journalism, but also how subtly it is done. Everything should ideally go unnoticed, because content marketing has the idea to look like independent journalism as far as it goes.
Johanna Jaara Åstrand, shows this clearly in an article published in the Teachers journal:
”the Papers will continue to be independent with an independent publisher who makes all editorial decisions and editorial program is fixed. (...) Kvalitetsjournalistik is, and remains, a fundamental part of the Swedish members.”
But what many don't know is that the Swedish management for a longer period of time systematically have fitted down the conditions for independent kvalitetsjournalistik. The first were deleted, the Teachers ' newspaper investigative mission from the editorial program, the policy paper that governs the newspapers. Then fought tidningsavdelningen together with the communications department, a comprehensive communication strategy was adopted which stood over the editorial programme and communications manager became manager of out the editors.
reporters should be able to be independent, it is not sufficient with an independent publisher. All we journalists know it is not easy for a publisher to be independent under the above mentioned conditions. Especially tough can it be to work as an employee on a contentbyrå who fear losing production in the next procurement. To my knowledge, there are no newspapers on the contentbyråer who examine their own clients, even if they would be free to do it.
For the Swedish teachers ' Union, which organizes a quarter of a million teachers who, in turn, to teach our young people how democracy works, it is, of course, a large geographical to admit that they have mounted down the conditions for independent journalism. After all, it is one of the cornerstones of a democratic society. But Johanna Jaara Åstrands credibility when she claims to the contrary must be questioned.
Organisations have of course the right to decide over their papers, make changes in the mission and lay out the production on the contentbyrå. But when it is done, they must speak plainly. Otherwise, something incredibly important is lost: the confidence of journalism. We can not allow concepts such as ”independent kvalitetsjournalistik” watered down more in our time and in our social climate. The loss of the democratic values that it is missing scales is too big.