Barents Editors team up for cooperation

Barents Editors board the vessel for teambuilding and establishing cross-border cooperation between media houses in the Barents Region.

JARFJORD: Increasing focus on sharing news from the Barents Region pushes editors to discover and cooperate with news-desks across borders, language barriers and different styles of journalism.


Editors from media houses in northern Finland, Russia, Norway and Sweden met in Kirkenes on the coast to the Barents Sea last week. The first ever Barents Editors’ Forum triggered both networking and sharing of best practices.

“Journalists in the Barents Region have cooperated for 20 years through Barents Press International. This forum gave a push forward by also including the media houses,” says Trude Pettersen. She is Associate editor of BarentsObserver and Norwegian coordinator of the Barents Mediasphere, a Kolarctic project in cooperation with Arctic Center in Rovaniemi, GTRK Murman in Murmansk and Barents Press International. 

“We experiences rapid changes in the Arctic and an increasing global media interests towards our region. Therefore, such cooperation as we now have established between editors in the Barents Region will be a win-win for both the news desks and media houses,” says Trude Pettersen. 

Head of Science Communications at the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi, Markku Heikkilä, hopes the forum creates an atmosphere that encourages editors to continue the talks on how to better cooperate. “There is an obvious interest to have information and news of what is happening across the borders in the Barents Region, but lack of time and resources creates problems,“ he says. 

The 15 editors sailed on a team-building voyage out the Jarfjord catching King Crabs that after the formal discussions were served for dinner.

Practical steps for the cooperation continue with exchange of journalists between the news desks. Media houses in Rovaniemi and Oulu will next spring open their doors for journalists from both northern Norway and the Kola Peninsula coming to Finland to take part in one of the training courses offered by the Barents Mediasphere project.