Mads Yngve Storvik, Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of NTB

Mads Yngve Storvik (Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of NTB): The corona-crisis demonstrated how important newswires are for the media industry

Two of NTB's employees got the coronavirus, but overall the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director
of the Norwegian news agency foresees a positive future for the company, powered by new products and increased digitalisation. 

How did NTB handle the peak of the coronavirus crisis? What were the special measures taken, if any, seeing to the fact that Norway was not especially hard hit by the pandemic? 

When the Norwegian authorities locked down the society the 12th of March we decided to move nearly all employees to their homes. Two of our employees actually got the coronavirus, but they went into quarantine and we manage to stop the virus from spreading.

The operation went quite well from home office. And we have never had such demands from our news customers.

Was there any type of extra pressure from shareholders on NTB during the crisis?

We gathered the board quite quickly and decided to give a "corona discount" to our biggest customers which also are our owners. Because of that we haven't experienced any pressure.

Did you launch any new products during the past few months, connected to the corona-crisis?

Yes, we launched quite quickly several new products. For example a live blog about the corona crisis, a fact data base about the corona virus. Because of the new products we got several new news customers.

How do you see the future of NTB now, compared to last year’s estimates?

I think the future is quite bright. The corona crisis has been a catalyser for accelerating launch of new products and digitalisation, and even demonstrated how important a news wire is for the media marked. I think we will still have price pressure, but we are able to develop new products for the media marked which will give us new income.

Do you think news agencies have anything to gain following this special context we are currently living in?

I think so. The corona crisis demonstrated how important newswires are for the media industry. 

Interview by Alexandru Giboi (EANA Secretary General) for the "EANA Top Voices" project.