The Oslo Desk is an online journalism magazine focused on empowering voices that are absent in the mainstream media. Launched in 2017 by Ka Man Mak, it began as a local movement advocating for inclusive voices in the media and to support immigrant journalists. Whoever owns the media has the narrative power to influence public attitudes and to choose whose voices and lives matter. The Oslo Desk is the first English-language newsroom that puts diversity in the media with an emphasis on constructive journalism, which focuses on exploring possible solutions to systemic problems. We work to ensure and maintain the highest level of accuracy and truth through understanding the importance of racial equity. In addition, we help our global citizens navigate their migration journey.
Media outlets in Norway are in the hands of a few powerful media groups. There is a lack of journalists with a minority background in the industry and there isn’t equal representation in the media. A 2018 study found that of 12000 articles, only 2% had a source that was a person with a minority background. Media representation in Norway is not only problematic, but also does not fulfill the basic principles and values of journalism – a true representation and reflection of our multicultural society.
Our mission is global but grounded in Oslo, a city with Norway’s largest immigrant population. Our staff, volunteers and partners are all internationals or are Norwegian with a minority background. We work to remove barriers for people of colour or those who are immigrants to access media channels and to tell their story.
Five Core Pillars of The Oslo Desk:
Systems journalism – Looking at the bigger picture instead of single, one-off stories.
Constructive journalism – Investing in solution-focused storytelling instead of reporting on societal challenges and problems.
Transnational/Global journalism – People are connected beyond borders so stories must be global.
DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) -focused – It is empowering to understand and address how equity, social justice and professional norms impact our ability to report and tell stories.
Human-centred – Our work includes those who identified themselves as diaspora, international, global citizens, expats, migrants and immigrants, to create collective stories and impact.
Our impact is made through: oslodesk.com, an online journalism magazine; TODcast, a podcast channel; TOD Studio, a content production studio of editorial and commercial content; TOD journalism training, an initiative to train a new generation of community reporters; and collaborating with partners to build spaces to exchange knowledge and facilitate for solutions.
Our approach sets us apart from other Norwegian media, and we can say that we are the first English-speaking newsroom that puts diversity in media, systems thinking, and constructive journalism in focus.
Our vision is to use media storytelling and journalistic methods to transform the world where everyone will find a place of belonging, peace and fulfilment in their cohesive societies.