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Innovate Local. A new program for spreading actionable ideas.


Start digging! Investigative journalism for the (local) win
Don't miss our next webinar on June 12

Creating powerful local journalism: How Borås Tidning’s investigative team builds community connections while driving conversions and supporting the brand

Presented by Head of Investigative Journalism Lena Kvist, winner of Media Leader of the Year in the 2024 Swedish National Newspaper Awards.


Our latest case!

Attracting local advertisers: How Amedia is reviving traditional recruitment and real estate advertising, delighting readers with local opportunities

Most of us have done it. You found a job and, you found a home. Both have fundamentally local focus – the closer the better. While the prevailing view in the industry is that these types of classifieds markets are lost forever, Norwegian news group Amedia has revived them in digital and now lead in driving discovery for non-active seekers.

Recent cases

Local media for the 21st century

The first global program for local media

Innovate Local is the only truly global program for local media professionals.

It’s built on WAN-IFRA’s mission to support a free and independent press.


We’re building a global hub for knowledge sharing and networking around the future of sustainable local journalism.

And we invite you to be part of it.

Tired of waiting for the silver bullet for local news?

Innovate Local is where you want to be.

Through this program we'll share the best ideas, drawing on our global network of local publishers.

Simply join, listen, hopefully be inspired and feel free to copy the idea!

The program is about exploring how local media can become indispensable to local people and businesses by:

– Leveraging data and AI

– Deploying user needs models

– Drawing on new formats for storytelling
and the journalism product

– Developing relevant advertising products 

– Developing additional revenue streams

- Two compact webinars a month.

- Regular schedule.

- One publisher case each time, looking at one solution.

- Recordings and resources will be collected here.

What is Innovate Local about?

We're keeping it simple.

Innovate Local is open to everyone and free for WAN-IFRA members. 

Who is the program aimed at?

Innovate Local is for anyone working in a news media company operating in its own geographical community – anyone involved in the business of journalism close to home.


What do you get when you join the program?

You get access to two case webinars a month (live and on demand) with documentation. We're also building a community of local publishers exchanging ideas and experiences on a dedicated Slack channel, moderated by our experts.

Not a WAN-IFRA member? Learn about the benefits of being one.

A WAN-IFRA membership costs €800/year for an individual. Corporate memberships start at €1,600.

Non-members get a 3 month free trial to try Innovate Local, register here. After that the program costs €2,800 a year for six seats. 

Join us now!

Our next webinar features an award winning Swedish media leader: 
"Creating powerful local journalism: How Borås Tidning’s investigative team builds community connections while driving conversions and supporting the brand" with Lena Kvist.

Wednesday June 12th 2024 at 15.00 CET | 9.00 EST

Tell us more about yourself and we'll send you webinar link and information upcoming webinars.

Interested in becoming an Innovate Local Tech Partner?

Join publishers already in the program:

“We very much welcome a program with focus specifically on the challenges and opportunities of local journalism. We’re always on the lookout for new ideas and inspiration, and we look forward to the chance of sharing our own learnings with peers around the world."

Markus Rask Jensen, Chief News Officer, Amedia, Norway

Our tech partners

Some of the topics we cover in the case webinars

• Product development around community interests like local sports

• Serving local readers relevant stories through geo segmentation

• Ad packages for local advertisers in jobs, real estate, family related services like funeral services

• Using AI and automation to surface, sort and present more public data

• Nurturing and growing reader groups through newsletters

• Using new story-telling techniques to bring in young readers

• Local impact journalism

• New products like events and B2B
• Branding, marketing and community outreach.

• Working on inclusivity in order to reflect all local communities

• Programmatic advertising and self-service for the local SME segment.

• Print distribution development

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