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WAN-IFRA Unveils Innovate Local Programme to Drive Media Innovation and Sustainability

WAN-IFRA announces the launch of Innovate Local, the first global forum for local media. Through the Innovate Local programme, media professionals will be able to exchange actionable and scalable ideas with a focus on opportunities and problems unique to the business of local journalism. The initiative addresses small and midsized local media and local entities of bigger media groups.

Innovate Local will deliver two case webinars a month and a website of resources. Moreover, through a dedicated and curated Slack channel, WAN-IFRA is building a community of local publishers exchanging ideas, concepts and experiences. The program is aimed at anyone working in a news media company which operates in its geographical community. In other words, anyone involved in the business of journalism close to where people live and work. Innovate Local is free for WAN-IFRA members but open to everyone.
"We are thrilled to introduce the Innovate Local programme," said Vincent Peyrègne , CEO of WAN-IFRA. "This initiative reflects our commitment towards supporting local journalism and a free and independent press worldwide. We believe that by empowering local news organisations with innovative tools and ideas we can ensure their long-term sustainability and their fundamental role in open society."
The programme will cover topics like product development around community interests, serving readers through geo segmentation, AI and automation, newsletters, new story-telling techniques, local impact journalism, new products like events and B2B, branding, marketing and community outreach, inclusivity, programmatic advertising and self-service, print distribution and many more.
Scandinavian media back the programme
Local media in Scandinavia have been particularly successful in building close relationships with their readers and local advertisers and several Scandinavian local media groups have signed up as Founding Members of Innovate Local, including Swedish Bonnier News Local, NWT, Gota Media, VK Media as well as Amedia and Schibsted title Bergens Tidende in Norway.
"We very much welcome a programme focusing specifically on the challenges and opportunities of local journalism. We're always looking for new ideas and inspiration, and we look forward to sharing our learnings with peers worldwide," explains Markus Rask Jensen, Chief News Officer, Amedia, Norway. Mats Ehnbom, CEO of Swedish GotaMedia, comments:" We support Innovate Local. Our organisation, and myself as a CEO, look forward to being inspired by practical examples of excellence and best cases."
The Innovate Local launch webinar will take place on February 7 at 3 p.m. CET and will headline Schibsted title Stavanger Aftenblad in Norway. Project Leader AI Elin Stueland will present their case: Reaching Young Readers: How Stavanger Aftenblad covers junior football like it's the Premier League.
WAN-IFRA is partnering with Swedish media experts Niklas Jonason, Program Director and Cecilia Campbell, Program Editor, to curate and run Innovate Local. Both have extensive experience in digital media transformation, with Jonason focusing on business development and ad tech, and Campbell on newsroom development and reader revenues. Both have worked closely with WAN-IFRA before.
Martin Fröhlich, Director of the Digital Revenue Network at WAN-IFRA, is WAN-IFRA's manager on the Innovate Local team.

www.wan-ifra.org

 

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