In recent years, Expressen has had an impressive increase in reach and market share. In autumn 2017, we decided to use our strong traffic and Facebook reach to grow engagement around important climate issues, raising awareness and setting the agenda for climate journalism in Sweden.
Colleagues throughout our organisation have contributed to Expressen’s climate journalism, reaching two million people. Other Swedish news sites have followed during 2018, boosting the focus on climate journalism.
Expressen’s senior correspondents Magnus Falkehed and Niclas Hammarström have traveled across continents and listened to stories from people whose everyday lives already have been profoundly affected by climate change. For example, they interviewed fisherman John Khong Joak in South Sudan’s marshes and farmer Augustina Rojas-Isla by the lost lake Poopó in Bolivia. They also met people in the middle of a green change, such as commuter Di Il Nor on an electric bike in Pyongyang.
Within a week of launch, the Expressen Klimat Facebook page had 1,700 fans and reached 90,000 people. The page had the best engagement rate out of all of Expressen’s 30+ Facebook pages, measured in the number of interactions per fan and per post.
We have received an unprecedented stream of news tips. Scientists, businesses, top politicians and — most importantly — engaged readers all get in touch. A scientist e-mailed us and asked how to post a graph in the comments section of our Facebook page.
We wanted to increase readership and engagement for climate journalism by using every available platform and developing new storytelling capabilities, as well as working cross-functionally between journalists, developers, and analysts. One of the new features we tested gave extra good results: the option to listen to audio versions of the long-form articles. The experiment was a success, with listening times exceeding the long reading times.
Previously, articles about the climate have had difficulty competing and catching readers’ interest. But many articles within the scope of this campaign have been among the most read on the whole site — often with a high amount of time spent on the page — and pageviews on our climate articles have increased by 250%.