The Swedish and Danish daily newspapers are dying. Subscribers turn their backs, advertisers choose other media, and the publics confidence in journalists is at an all-time
low. Only 23 percent of Swedes
and 14 percent of Danes
say they trust the media.
Considering that the Australian futurologist Ross Dawson predicts that newspaper death will hit the United States in 2017, Denmark 2023 and Sweden two years later,
one might ask oneself why Dispatch International would venture into a kamikaze mission such as publishing newspapers?
The answer is: We believe that there is another explanation for the death of the print media, one that neither the journalists nor the media houses want to acknowledge. Namely, that the product that is offered to the readers is no longer worth paying for. To fill the printed paper with celebrity gossip and politically correct journalism doesnt fly anymore.
We are convinced that there is, on the other hand, a pent-up need for old fashioned, honest journalism. The kind that describes and exposes problems in society, scrutinizes those in power and forces them to take responsibility a newspaper defending the rights of the little man.
But who wants to pay for propaganda, telling us day in and day out that the Swedish immigration policy is the best in the world, that it is pure coincidence that the countrys schools are degenerating, and that Swedish taxpayers are happy to see their money fly away when citizens from other countries come here by the hundreds of thousands, expecting to be supported by us?
Why do we think that the readers want our articles in paper format, and not just online? Quite simply, because web and paper are two completely different things. Many of us are online all day, sitting in front of a computer at work. Now and then, we need a break and we sneak onto Facebook or a news website, wanting to be distracted and/or entertained.
But when youre reading a printed paper, you want something altogether different. You want to be informed, to acquire new knowledge of the world around you, maybe even to read an article twice, just because its so interesting and full of new ideas and facts.
The dailies were wrong to publish all their material free online now theyve raised an entire generation into thinking that journalism is no big deal and certainly not worth paying for. And things went even more wrong when they started looking at click statistics, concluding that what people read online (celebrity silliness and other weirdness) would work as well in the printed paper.
Thats why theyre standing at the precipice now. In 1995, 89 percent of Swedish households subscribed to a morning paper. In 2011, that number was down to 67 percent. The number of Swedish journalists is down from 7000 to 5100 in just a handful of years, and another 500 have been given their notice during the fall.
However, its not the printed paper format thats faulty the fault lies with the people who make todays newspapers. At Dispatch International, we are convinced that people are happy to pay for a printed newspaper if it contains important stuff, stuff thats true and relevant.
And we intend to prove it!