Second Forum Talk addressed bridge building in Stockholm

Can journalism be used to bridge social divides? This question was discussed with great engagement at the second online meeting of the Nordic Forum on October 15th. The meeting gathered together researchers and journalists.

Petter Beckman, editor at the local news chain Mitti in Stockholm, introduced by showing examples of depolarizing journalism within the #EttSthlm-project (”One Stockholm”). You can watch the video of the talk here (20 minutes). The project aims to strengthen social cohesion within the capital region, using symbolic devices like subway seats, highlighting divisive topics in a constructive way and arranging dialogue meetings in schools and shopping malls. The resulting stories are published in various local news outlets of the same owner.

Beckman also showed how these #EttSthlm-activities have evolved from earlier experiments in the late 90s inspired by the public journalism movement and he also related them to the more recent trend of constructive journalism.

After this the participants discussed and exchanged experiences from their own fields. One point that was made was that audiences tend to embrace this kind of journalism more than the professional journalists and editors. The conservative role of journalism training was mentioned. One participant argued that a lot of journalism is neither sharply investigative or constructively dialogical but rather resides in a rather bland “middle field” – and it would be better if journalists would choose either of the paths, which are both important to society.

Next month, the third Forum Talk will be held on Thu 19th November at 18:00 (CET) / 19:00 (Finland). Journalist and author Lotte Rosdahl from Denmark will focus on the themes of diversity and inclusion and introduces the method of TrustJournalism.