Published 2014-12-04

Successful royal visit to Schibsted and Aftenposten

Crown Prince Haakon demonstrated a keen interest in learning about the digital transformation in Schibsted and about how quality journalism remains a top priority in our media houses.

Earlier this autumn the Royal Palace in Norway contacted Schibsted and conveyed the Crown Prince’s interest in paying a visit to learn about the impact the digital transformation is having on the media industry.The visit took place on 3 December.

Read Aftenposten’s own story on the royal visit

The first stop in the program was Schibsted Media Group for a briefing on Schibsted’s international operations by Board Chair Ole Jacob Sunde, CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal, and EVP Strategy and Digital Transformation Frode Eilertsen.

“Schibsted is a well-established Norwegian company that is currently undergoing a transformation that is unparalleled in our one hundred and seventy-year history. At the same time we have expanded internationally and now have operations in 29 countries. I very much value the Crown Prince’s interest in this area and look forward to telling him more about the types of challenges and opportunities these fundamental changes present,” said CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal.

The Crown Prince also met Norwegian and international trainees taking part in Schibsted Media Group’s popular trainee program. The trainees were attending a seminar this week, and were excited about meeting none other than the Crown Prince, who showed a keen interest in finding out what they could teach him about disruption.

Crown Prince Haakon and Schibsted’s management trainees.

Visit to Aftenposten

Following the visit to Schibsted’s head office, the next stop in the program lay across the street in Akersgata 55, where the Crown Prince rounded off the day with a half-hour tour of Aftenposten’s new premises to learn more about the current media situation and about how the media house handles news stories.

Crown Prince Haakon listened intently as Managing Editor Peter Markovski and Front Editor Klaus Børringbo in Aftenposten explained how the newspaper prioritizes news content on mobile, tablet and He asked in-depth questions about how Aftenposten is edited and published on digital and mobile platforms.

From left: Editorial Manager Peter Markowski, Crown Prince Haakon, Front Editor Klaus Børringbo and Editor-in-Chief Espen Egil Hansen discussed multi-platform publishing in Aftenposten.

Increasing pace and demands

After a tour of the editorial department, the Crown Prince met several of the newspaper’s journalists and learned about their working day and about how they work on print and online products, apps, social media, and video production.
The Crown Prince said that there was a lot of good work and good stories in Norwegian media, but he also expressed concern that the increasing pace and demands could affect journalism quality.

“It’s a bit worrying that those who are producing in-depth journalism are competing with those who latch on to whatever produces the most clicks. It’s important that we think about this and find good solutions,” said the Crown Prince.

However, the Crown Prince was reassured by financial journalist Marita Valvik that in Aftenposten it was possible to spend time on stories that were prioritized.

“I find that we are able to devote time and energy to important stories,” said Valvik, adding that the newspaper’s journalists are constantly under pressure to choose between covering breaking news and covering stories that need investigation.

“All the same, I find that the media house has an environment in which quality is a top priority and where the management realizes that this is one of Aftenposten’s cornerstones.”

Concerned with clicks?

When asked by the journalist from the trade magazine Kampanje whether he thought that Aftenposten’s journalists were fully aware of the pressures on quality journalism, the Crown Prince replied:

“Yes, absolutely. But then this is a media house where quality journalism is a top priority,” said the Crown Prince.

A typical Aftenposten reader

“What are Crown Prince’s personal reading habits?”

“I’m probably a typical Aftenposten reader. Like most readers, I read some news in print version and some electronically. I often read Aftenposten on my mobile phone, too. At home we also enjoy Aftenposten Junior, and I’m not the only one who reads it.”

Would have become an entrepeneur

Aftenposten Junior has received numerous enquiries from children who want to be so-called Junior journalists and interview the Crown Prince. One question many of them ask is:

“If the Crown Prince were to wake up tomorrow and not be the Crown Prince, what would his dream job be?”

Yesterday he finally gave his answer:

“Then I think I would have become an entrepreneur and started something myself. Something to do with surfing, film, or music. But that has never really been a realistic option!”

– Good questions about journalism

Editor-in-Chief Espen Egil Hansen enjoyed presenting Aftenposten to the Crown Prince, who demonstrated in-depth knowledge of both the newspaper and journalism.

“He asked some good questions about journalism and ethics. He was interested to hear our thoughts about the combination of advertising and editorial content. And he was up-to-date on both the opportunities and challenges presented by computer technology,” said Hansen.

From left: Aftenposten’s CEO Sondre Gravir, Schibsted Media Group Chairman of the Board Ole Jacob Sunde, Crown Prince Haakon and Aftenposten’s Editor-in-Chief Espen Egil Hansen.