Norwegian newspaper uses data journalism to build its digital presence

Since 2010, the title has increased its turnover by 40 per cent as a result of transforming into a digital-first news outlet.

A Norwegian news organisation has transformed its output in the last six years using data, now focusing on digital-first products that offer its audience original reports and analysis.

Kommunal Rapport, a niche digital news site and weekly newspaper in Norway, is aimed at senior local politicians and local government officials.

“In 2010, we had one paper-based product which we hoped people would subscribe to once a year,” said Ole Petter Pedersen, news editor, Kommunal Rapport, speaking at the Digital Innovators Summit in Berlin yesterday (21 March).

“In 2017, we have eight digital products, seven of which are digital-only, and they are a fantastic source of income for us and a great opportunity for good, important journalism.”

Indeed, the small news outlet saw a 40 per cent increase in its turnover from 2010 to 2016, bringing in just under 30 million NOK (£2.83m) last year.

“We’ve put all our resources into creating more journalism,” he said, explaining the newsroom team of 13 people is now bigger than it has ever been in the paper’s history of 30 years.

Each online project started since 2010 has been given at most 24 months to test, and all have been successful so far using big data to reveal stories. All projects predominantly look at how money is spent and misspent within Norway’s municipalities.

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