Media experts Niklas Jonason and Cecilia Campbell will led a new local programme aimed at driving media innovation and sustainability.
The WAN-Ifra Innovate Local programme provides a first global forum for local media, and will use Schibsted’s Stavanger Aftenblad in Norway as a case history.
The “free to members, open to everyone” will enable media professionals 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.
Two case webinars will be delivered a month alongside a website of resources, with a dedicated Slack channel linking a community of local publishers exchanging ideas, concepts and experiences.
The programme is open to anyone working in a news media company which operates in its geographical community – in effect, anyone involved in the business of journalism close to where people live and work.
The programme launches next Wednesday, February 7.
WAN-Ifra has named Niklas Jonason its programme director and Cecilia Campbell as programme 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.
Martin Fröhlich, director of WAN-Ifra’s digital revenue network is the association’s team manager. For more information please visit Innovate Local, or contact Niklas Jonason, email@example.com, Cecilia Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Martin Fröhlich, email@example.com
Jonason’s 35 years of experience of business development, tech and digital transformation particularly for local news media, include roles such as chief executive, board member and management consultant. For the past 30 years he has held key positions in developing and running services in ed and ad tech for Swedish local media.
Cecilia Campbell is a journalist who has spent 25 years covering the digital transformation in news media from Sweden and the UK, most recently as chief marketing officer at United Robots.
WAN-Ifra chief executive Vincent Peyrègne said the group was thrilled to launch the programme. “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 such as 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.
With Scandinavian media backing the programme, there will be participation from several local media groups as founding members, including Swedish Bonnier News Local, NWT, Gota Media, VK Media as well as Amedia and Schibsted title Bergens Tidende in Norway.