Swedish daily slashes workforce

Dagens Nyheter (DN), the Swedish daily newspaper, has announced that it is slashing 100 jobs after a year of continued losses, according to a report in Dagens Media.

Swedish daily slashes workforce

Staff and unions have responded with dismay at the news.

“We have known for a while that we have had financial problems. But this landed like a bomb. I can not understand what has happened now to make this necessary,” Hans Arbman, chairman of the local union branch, said to Dagens Media.

Sweden’s newspaper of record, Dagens Nyheter, has reported losses of 97 million kronor ($13.3 million) with costs per staff member running at 850,000 kronor.

Most of the staff cuts will affect editorial staff and follows a tough austerity programme launched by the Bonnier family-owned flagship publication in the autumn.

Gunilla Herlitz took over from industry veteran Thorbjörn Larsson on November 1st, becoming only the second woman to lead the firm.

Herlitz was brought in to wield the axe after a long period of decline, and since her arrival major changes within the editorial staff have occurred.

The news that 100-120 of the newspaper’s 580 strong workforce are to go was communicated to staff at around 11am on Thursday morning. The lay-offs are to affect 60-70 editorial staff, with the remaining cuts primarily targeting sales and administrative employees.

Dagens Nyheter is part of the Bonnier family concern. Founded in 1864, the newspaper’s stated editorial position is “independently liberal”.

DN is Sweden’s largest morning newspaper with a circulation of around 340,000.

Since the middle of the 1990s competition has intensified in the Swedish media sector with the advent of the internet, free newspapers, and more intense print competition.

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Google News to return to Spain after seven-year spat

Google announced Wednesday the reopening of its news service in Spain next year after the country amended a law that imposed fees on aggregators such as the US tech giant for using publishers’ content.

Google News to return to Spain after seven-year spat
Google argues its news site drives readers to Spanish newspaper and magazine websites and thus helps them generate advertising revenue.Photo: Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

The service closed in Spain in December 2014 after legislation passed requiring web platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay publishers to reproduce content from other websites, including links to their articles that describe a story’s content.

But on Tuesday the Spanish government approved a European Union copyright law that allows third-party online news platforms to negotiate directly with content providers regarding fees.

This means Google no longer has to pay a fee to Spain’s entire media industry and can instead negotiate fees with individual publishers.

Writing in a company blog post on Wednesday, Google Spain country manager Fuencisla Clemares welcomed the government move and announced that as a result “Google News will soon be available once again in Spain”.

“The new copyright law allows Spanish media outlets — big and small — to make their own decisions about how their content can be discovered and how they want to make money with that content,” she added.

“Over the coming months, we will be working with publishers to reach agreements which cover their rights under the new law.”

News outlets struggling with dwindling print subscriptions have long seethed at the failure of Google particularly to pay them a cut of the millions it makes from ads displayed alongside news stories.

Google argues its news site drives readers to newspaper and magazine websites and thus helps them generate advertising revenue and find new subscribers.