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Why independent journalism is important for society

News des, Aftonbladet, Stockholm office

In a time when anyone can share their thoughts online with minimal restrictions, the role of independent media has become increasingly important.

Schibsted’s media houses are fearlessly independent in pursuing their journalistic mission. Our articles of association state that Schibsted’s shareholders must enable us to run our information operations in such a way that editorial freedom and integrity are fully ensured.

To be independent is a prerequisite for our media houses to inform and empower our readers in a credible way. We need our readers to trust that we are uninfluenced – by our owners, our stakeholders, or the government.

Our media houses have defined detailed in-house ethical guidelines on editorial matters. In Norway and Sweden, our legally responsible editors are accountable for any law infringements, and self-regulatory bodies have been established to uphold their respective codes of ethics. These self-regulatory bodies were founded on the principles of freedom of speech and independence and it’s possible for everyone (including readers) to report complaints.

To increase transparency and readers’ understanding of how editorial choices and decisions are made, some of our media houses have created blogs, websites and even podcasts that allow our editors and journalists to speak openly about the dilemmas they face when making editorial decisions.

It’s important for our readers to trust that they won’t be manipulated or misguided by our media houses. There’s a difference between objectivity and balance – democratic and independent journalism must be balanced and fair.

Schibsted’s editorial leaders are seasoned professionals with years of experience in capturing important news stories and bringing them to our various reader communities. We embed editorial controls to ensure the accuracy and integrity of our news.

Swedish publicity rules

Norwegian ethical standards for the press