Meet our People She builds a universe of football

She builds a universe of football

At Stavanger Aftenblad, the 13 to 14-year-olds have become a loyal target group – thanks to Elin Stueland and Mååål (“Scooore”, in English). For more than a year, this service has been reporting on all the local football matches in every series. The secret? A combination of robot journalism and human reporting.

“Mååål is a universe where you want to stay – it’s close to people’s lives,” says Elin as she explains the success.

As a digital editor she was on the lookout for new projects when she and her team realised that football was an obvious choice. There are more than 100 different football clubs in the area, playing more than 7,000 matches each season. The key has been to cover all matches played by 13-year-olds and older.

“Imagine being 13 years old and seeing your own picture in Stavanger Aftenblad. Now they know us as a brand.”

To be able to do this, Stavanger Aftenblad developed a robot in co-operation with the Norwegian news agency NTB. Now local trainers give input, and the robot automatically transforms it into results and content. Two reporters are also working full time to create real stories, podcasts and live studio reporting. The service also includes live streaming from more than 80 matches.

Another important thing has been to build Mååål as a concept with its own web page, social media content, and interactions. And during the first six months, the number of subscribers who renewed their subscriptions of Stavanger Aftenblad almost doubled.

“We have shown that we take the sport and the audience seriously.”

Elin Stueland, Deputy News Editor, Stavanger Aftenblad
Years in Schibsted: 16

Author Einar Otto Stangvik

Einar Otto Stangvik

A hacker devoted to storytelling

Einar Otto Stangvik is a security officer at VG – and a hacker, dedicated to developing editorial tools to support news investigations and presentations. He started out as a software developer and security consultant, but he wanted to get more out of his skills. As he investigated a politician who was hacking women to access their photos, he got in touch with VG, who helped him get the story out. He ended up getting hired and revealing child pornography on the dark net – a story that went global.

Currently, he is into 3D-maps to create a new dimension of journalistic storytelling. It started off with the insight that simple maps don’t really tell you much.

“I wanted to show how the places we write about really look and what that could mean to a story.”

In a recent story about a murder case, in which two young Norwegian girls were kidnapped and killed in 2001, maps have revealed information that indicates that one of two convicted men might be innocent.

“I am really a technology sceptical person. But I believe that our newspapers need to find out how we can use technology in the best possible way to give the readers the best possible understanding of a story.”

Einar Otto Stangvik, Head of Information Security, VG
Years in Schibsted: 9

Author Bjorn Schiffler

Björn Schiffler

Contextual ads don’t need to track the users

Björn Schiffler comes from academia where he specialised in cognitive neuroscience. But when he switched to data science, Schibsted became an attractive place to work – as with all its content, the opportunities to work with natural language processing (NLP) are plentiful.

Björn and his team are developing machine learning-models that support the development of contextual ads.

“It’s all based on the content itself, so we don’t need to track users or use cookies,” he explains.

Contextual ads are ads matched with relevant content, like news articles on Schibsted’s media platforms.

“For instance, if you want to sell bikes, articles about the Tour de France would be such a relevant context.”

But Björn also has his eyes on the future. He’s looking forward to developing even more advanced models that can understand the overall essence of an article and contribute with even better input to contextual advertising. Looking even further ahead, generative models could create summaries of news stories adapted to different target groups.

“This is how our field, in a concrete way, can contribute to making a positive impact.”

Björn Schiffler, Staff Data Scientist
Years in Schibsted: 1.5