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Innovate Local. A new program for spreading actionable ideas.


Life after Print and Breaking Data themes at first ever Innovate Local in person event at #WNMC

During our 90 minute session at the World News Media Congress in Copenhagen, we heard three cases on from local publishers on two different topics.

Life after print

The Big step in digital transformation is stopping print –  and do it with a vision! La Presse in Montreal started that process in 2013 with the launch of a tablet version and completed it in 2018 when the presses were permanently turned off. François Cardinal (top right) told us that a key success factor was choosing and sticking to the strategy, preparing readers for it and executing to plan. Read full case.

Breaking data

Markus Rask Jensen described how Amedia in Norway "turns data into gold" by producing and distributing hyperlocally relevant stories. "Location is king – hyperlocal is better than just local." Full case

Gabriel Kahn of Crosstown in Los Angeles described what they do: "With a newsroom of two part-time journalists, we deliver 114 unique newsletters each week – one for each neighborhood in LA." Full case.

Gabe Standing talking - Markus - Niklas.jpg

We'll now take a break over summer.
We'll start up our biweekly Wednesday webinars again on August 21 at 15.00 CET | 9.00 EST for an autumn full of actionable ideas for local media.


Our latest case!

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

At Borås Tidning in the southwest of Sweden a small investigative team is producing a big impact for its newsroom. The all female three person team is using time honoured journalistic work methods to dig up stories on questionable and illegal practices used by local businesses and people. These stories drive twice as many conversions as other articles and the team generates a flood of tips from readers – all while supporting the news title’s brand and mission. And the significance of the all female team? They win the trust of female sources.

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!

We now take a summer break, but we'll be back with bi-weekly webinars in August!

The webinar program continues Wednesday Aug 21 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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