Stockholm, February 2020

Bonnier’s Stories Contribute to a More Open Society

Storytelling is the basis of our business. Storytelling continues to push Bonnier forward. Storytelling is also a prerequisite for liberal democracy – the model of our society. That is why this year’s annual review highlights storytelling.

For 200 years, freedom of speech has been a core value for Bonnier. Through storytelling, we simply want to make the communities in which we operate more open and interesting, more well-informed and entertaining.

We believe in quality, fact checking and the search for truth. And in sensitivity and transparency when we fail to reach these high ambitions. Media, books and films that originate from our companies should reflect a variety of perspectives, news  services and public opinions. Our storytelling is to be independent and original.

This means that it should also be independent from us, the owners. Our liberal heritage provides no given answers to all the issues of our time, but leaves room for conflicts of interest and various conclusions. However, there is also a limit to what is contained within these frameworks: Bonnier’s operations will never run agendas that diminish the individual or exclude groups from society. We are on the individual’s side and stand up for democracy, everyone’s equal value, fundamental freedom and rights.

Corporate governance within Bonnier has changed. Our former business areas are now operationally independent companies with the aim of maximizing the companies’ opportunities for growth and profitability. We believe that our companies benefit and become more agile by giving each management full focus, full mandate and full accountability for their operations, and by letting them answer to their own board of directors.

Bonnier’s businesses have always been influenced by market conditions. Independence, quality and long-term vision relies upon commercial success. The company has constantly evolved to manage change. That is why we today invest heavily in the transformation to digital revenue. The path from story or news item to audience takes on new directions and forms, as technological develop­ments change distribution and business models. It is important for us to invest in this development.

Therefore, we will continue to operate in areas other than just storytelling, for example in real estate. This ensures a diversified spread of financial risks.

Professional and independent storytelling in media, books and films is more important now than it has been for a very long time. With a long-term vision, the Bonnier family continues to be the owner of some of Northern Europe’s most important businesses in this field.

Carl-Johan Bonnier
Representative of the Owers