Live blog: Talk by Espen Hansen, VG Group

Posted on April 24, 2006 
Filed Under Blogs, Journalism, Multimedia, Social Media

UPDATE 3.14pm: Have uploaded the entire talk (72 minutes of 192Kbps MP3) onto You can download it here. Note it’s
a 103.8MB file.

Liveblog: 10.50am, The Star, Sec 16, PJ, Malaysia: Attending a talk by Espen Egil Hansen, MD of VG Multimedia. Will blog this is live in next few minutes.

10.52am: Datuk Wong Sulong describes VG has a very proactive publishing company that represents the future of newspaper journalism and VG is the biggest interactive media site in Norway.

10. 54am: Espen: Went scuba diving in Malaysia. Intro: We were speaking to them. One-way communication (before). Today a lot more complicated. Information travels very fast, it’s global. In certain terms we are all editors. Within minutes (anyone with a handphone) has an audience.

Mentions Murdoch: Power is moving away from us (publishers). Users want the information now, the way they want it.

“In VG, it’s not Internet vs paper. Move from ‘telling the readers’ to ‘creating arenas, communities.’ From ‘deciding what they should read’, to making content available for them to consume when they want to.”

11.05am: We started 10 years ago, and we really wanted to do it. Largest mobile Internet site (VG). From analog — once a day, to digital — printing all the time. 121 million NOK (Internet revs), 43 percent profit margin. Newspaper makes a lot more money.

Deliver it, when it happens, not once a day. They can read when it is convenient for them.

11.07am: No more “deadlines”. Print immediately when confirmed – we call it the BIRTH of the article.

Most important sentence: “Come back for more.”

Digital storytelling is about building expectations.

Our goal: people shouldn’t wait for TV news anymore.


19th Jan, 2004: Newsflash: Big ship had capsized. Called the neighbourng houses. Reported on their website within hours. Used their digital pics and videos. We were early, We got exclusive pics. People were reading on their phones for updates, the man was on the run.

Within a short time, we had proper coverage of this major accident.

Text messaging to a four-digit number 2200: MMS pics, sms, video, everything goes thru 2200.

EG: Stabbing of man in tram. The news battle is about being the first to know. Updates to mobile users during rush hour because man was on the run.

Mentioned Tsunami and Norwegian victims were asking them in Norway where was the nearest hospital in Thailand. We updated with info on local maps, hospitals, etc.

Built a service to help victims, photos of survivors, victims. They (polic) had 10,000 and we had 8,500 (victims) and we thot we were wrong.

There were mistakes.

In that we had it 79% correct while Foreign Dept 6% and Police: 30% after four days.

11.29am: (Battery died, uploaded at 12.55pm) Politicans couldn’t brush off tricky questions from victims’ families. Some questions were very, very good.

We had a live chat with Foreign Minister. It was a great success.

Debbie Syahputri (Norwegian who was affected by tsunami) tried to help victims, children. Satellite live chat with her. Much stronger story for our readers. Pic of a heart-breaking story of a man reunited with his child with Debbie in background.

[More excerpts later…]


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