INMA Elevate Scholar Mussa Dagnew of VG

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Growing up in Oslo, Norway, Mussa Dagnew didn’t see a career in the news media as part of his future. 

“This has a lot to do with the distance and lack of knowledge between some groups in Norway and the media industry,” he said. “The lack of knowledge goes both ways.” 

Since some minorities in Norway have less trust in the media, they are not likely to consider it as a career. For Dagnew, discovering the industry not only opened the door to his future career, but it also provides an opportunity to bridge the gap that exists between some minority groups and the news media industry. 

Mussa Dagnew is optimistic about the growth potential of news media subscriptions.
Mussa Dagnew is optimistic about the growth potential of news media subscriptions.

“I think the way to more inclusiveness comes with more knowledge and better relationships between different groups,” he said. “Therefore, it is really important to make the connections that can be twirled into long-lasting relationships.” 

Dagnew entered the industry in 2015 when he was hired as a programmatic planner for Omnicom Media Group in Norway. As the amount of programmatic advertising increased, the company moved its specialists to media buying agencies PHD and OMD. Dagnew landed at PHD, where he was given the responsibility of furthering programmatic media buying for the agency. 

His hard work paid off, and after just over two years, he was promoted to head of programmatic for PHD Norway. Then, in 2017, VG recruited him to start the in-house media buying department for subscription sales. He began as a performance marketing manager and now is the head of acquisition. He is optimistic about the growth potential for subscriptions within the news media industry and wants to be part of that future.

“I aspire to improve the current state of news media subscriptions, especially in the European market. [I want to] improve the communication around them,” he said. “By doing this, hopefully it will contribute to building great business models so we can continue to have a sustainable future in the news media.” 

About Paula Felps

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