P Rapacioli

Hi there Paul Rapacioli, new director at Fojo Media Institute

Fojo Media Institute is an institute that works to strengthen journalism in Sweden and globally. Fojo, short for 'Institute for Further Education of Journalists', was established in Sweden in 1972 and has been active internationally since the early 90s. Fojo seeks to ensure that journalism contributes to creating democratic and sustainable societies.

Could you please tell us what made you apply for the job as director?

“It was a no-brainer. There aren't many jobs where the mission has a clear focus on society, where you are tasked with contributing to solving the problems society faces. It’s a fantastic opportunity to work in an established organisation alongside others in this mission”.

How do you view your mandate and Fojo’s role?

“Before I set any direction, I need to learn about and understand the organisation, but there are some parts I can see already. Journalism is challenged by AI, and the difficulties in finding a long-term sustainable business model for journalism are enormous. At the same time, we face societal challenges with the climate crisis, increased terror threats, and large amounts of disinformation where journalism is really needed”.

“Someone must contribute to finding the solutions, and Fojo and Linnaeus University can be an arena and a centre for innovative solutions. Going forward, it’s also important to get more young people interested in journalism – both as consumers and as a possible career choice”.

Together with James Savage, you are the founder of The Local, an English-language news site that presents Swedish news in English and is now available in nine countries with millions of readers.

After leaving the role of CEO, you have worked as a lecturer and consultant and also written a book, 'Good Sweden, Bad Sweden'. What experiences from these roles will be important to bring into your new role?

“Everything really! My work with the news site taught me the importance of journalism; that it’s both global and local and that the local and close perspective is crucial. This issue is a challenge for us when media companies' business models are being challenged, and we have fewer and fewer locally anchored journalists”.

“In an era when we are being fed fake news and propaganda, the work of journalism becomes even more important. The book is about the image of Sweden in other countries and the mechanisms that influence it – a debate that is very relevant at the time being”.

Could you please tell us more about your background?

“I’m British, and have studied at University of Bristol. I was previously the digital chief for Reed, a British employment service, I have a Swedish wife and have lived in Sweden since 2003”.