ALERT: Early (discounted) registration deadline for Helsinki Media Innovation Week is Wednesday

Dagbladet Pluss dedicates entire magazine to speaking out against bullying

By Therese Doksheim Skaug

Dagbladet Pluss/Magasinet

Oslo, Norway

Connect      

The idea came as my Dagblad colleague Silje Førsund and I discussed work at a birthday party last summer: “We should dedicate a whole magazine to the fight against bullying!”

 She and her investigative journalism department had worked on several stories on bullying in recent months. As a department manager at Dagbladet Pluss Stories, I’d seen them published digitally, but most of it had yet to be in our print issues, Dagbladet (the newspaper) and Magasinet (our weekly magazine).

We agreed to put all their published stories in Magasinet — and add new ones, too!

Dagbladet Magasinet filled a whole issue to the fight against bullying.
Dagbladet Magasinet filled a whole issue to the fight against bullying.

We had been through a pandemic, followed by war, inflation, and another war. The news coverage was a given, but the department of investigative journalism at Dagbladet had one priority: to dig deep into the topic of bullying and present the stories of those who fought against it.

It’s important to know that the Norwegian government has set a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. But people like Emely Frantzen showed us that Norway is miles from that policy. 

Emely’s story

Emely committed suicide at the age of 12. Her father, Bengt, and her mother, Monica, shared how their daughter had tried to speak up about experiencing exclusion, bullying, and threats for several years.

The school had created numerous action plans, and various authorities were involved. But for Emely, everything only got worse. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Department, where they directly linked her trauma to the bullying she had reported.

Emely Frantzen committed suicide at the age of 12. Her parents bravely shared her and their story In Dagbladet, which sparked a national debate on bullying.
Emely Frantzen committed suicide at the age of 12. Her parents bravely shared her and their story In Dagbladet, which sparked a national debate on bullying.

She isn’t alone; 58,000 kids and teenagers experience bullying. Silje and her team theorised that we know too little about them and what is being done to help. 

At Dagbladet and Magasinet, we are digital-first focused. However, we still pay close attention to our print issues and aim to keep them interesting and innovative. When we put together Magasinet, we don’t just make or gather stories from the department where we create premium journalism; we also look for stories from other departments at Dagbladet. 

Our magazine has several columns that are identical every time, and we wanted to keep this consistent for our bullying issue, too. We asked our page two poet to write about bullying for his poem, and on the Therapy pages, we spoke with experts on how bullying can affect relationships later in life.

For the Portrait, we interviewed a celebrity that we knew had her own heartfelt experience of feeling left out and bullied.

A closer look at bullying

As a tabloid, our focus is always on making the easy stories thorough and the heavy stories easy to grasp. This issue did just that. We took it seriously and told our readers about bullying through the eyes of regular people like you and me. 

The result was a 58-page issue of Magasinet called The face of bullying. It featured a cover of 12 people who bravely told their stories on fighting bullying, or had their told by someone who was now mourning them.

Dagbladet’s bullying project revealed that despite big ambitions of zero bullying, it is more widespread than ever before in Norway. As a result of Dagbladet’s coverage, the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) has received a proposal for changes to the Education Act. This proposal places greater responsibility on the perpetrators of bullying by linking the action plan to the bullies rather than the victims.

Banner photo by Photo by Jørn H. Moen/Dagbladet.

About Therese Doksheim Skaug

By continuing to browse or by clicking “ACCEPT,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your site experience. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our privacy policy.
x

I ACCEPT