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Tough on Crime

You could find yourself in the belief that the people of Funen live in an action movie.

Mads Boel

Every single day I experience people making Italian Bolognese the “Danish way”. And I quite frankly find it appalling. Actually it’s an outright crime. To make great Bolognese you only need carrots, celery, onion, garlic, chicken stock, tomato puré, red wine and of course minced meat. In other words: simplicity and thoroughness in the process. Otherwise you get one out of two results: either it’s wrong or it is irrelevant.

The same could be said about journalism. In particular the digital verity of journalism known as websites. And especially when it comes to the genre of crime. 

Exclusive peek into test center for constructive journalism

In 2019 TV 2/Fyn gave themselves a challenge. They set out to become Denmarks most constructive media and the country’s largest test center for constructive journalism. In this blog you get an exclusive insight in their work to achieve that goal.

For too many years the Danish press – and also TV 2/Fyn – has been guilty in chasing ambulances, police cars, fires and petty crime.

I swear that when you take a look at tv2fyn.dk on any given weekend you could find yourself in the belief, that the people of Funen live in an action movie. There are assaults, car chases, drive-by-shootings, burglaries, accidents and the occasional murder. 

Mads Boel, Editorial Director, TV 2/Fyn

Mads Boel has worked as a reporter, editor and field producer for national TV2 for 10 years. 

 

In 2013 he made the move to TV 2/Fyn as innovation editor. 

 

In 2015 he took the rains as editorial director with the responsibility for digital news across platforms. 

 

Right now his focus is on creating new workflow and content guidelines for TV 2/Fyn website and SoMe platforms.

Se mere

But is that the correct image of the island of Funen? Absolutely not. The crime statistics have only headed one way over the past years; down. Violence is down. Burglaries are down. Hell even traffic violations are down. But do the users of TV 2/Fyn get that? The answer – in my opinion – is a resounding NO. 

We have an obligation to reflect upon, investigate and report the truth. Otherwise we become irrelevant.

Mads Boel

When consuming the news you as a user should be able to put together the right version of events and the right view of society and the state of it. We normally say, that the first casualty of war is the truth. Just like the first casualty of “Danish Bolognese” is the taste, the casualty in the war of clickbait and user-numbers have become the real image of society. We are guilty of the crime of sensation over truth.

As public service broadcasters we have an obligation to reflect upon, investigate and report the truth. Otherwise we become irrelevant.

That’s why we have implemented new standards for the editorial guideline of the online department of TV 2/Fyn. “Less is more” is the philosophy. That also means, that we are cutting down on the crime stories. We want relevant stories with perspective and relevance. And we want to make sure, that we paint the right picture, so we don’t make people believe, that everything is going down the drain. We will still do crime stories but they have to represent a general and current problem for society. We will report it when a 19-year old man drowns in the river because he was drunk and walked home alone from a night out on the town with his friends? But we have to take it further than that. We are obligated to ask the question “why don’t young people take care of each other”?

So far the engagement time has increased and the users are still with us.

Mads Boel

But what about the users and the KPIs you ask? Don’t worry. While cutting away irrelevant stories about crime we focus our energy on thoroughness, better stories, more video and more relevance. The results you ask? Well so far the engagement time has increased and the users are still with us. And the reporters find more joy in their profession. After all they are journalists in hunt for the truth. Not students with pimples and a part time job as clickbait hunters.

In other words. We are tough on crime. Just like more people should be tough on “Danish Bolognese”.