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Innovate Local is about people and sustainable local journalism.

Through the Innovate Local program, media professionals are able to exchange actionable and scalable ideas, with a focus on opportunities and problems unique to the business of local journalism.

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. 
Innovate Local addresses small and midsized local media as well as local entities of bigger media groups.


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. 

The core beliefs underpinning Innovate Local. 
We believe:

  • in independent journalism and transparency

  • that local media and local news is…

    • …about here and not there

    • …about the familiar and things that matter in people’s lives

  • that local journalism starts with a user or audience need...

    • it is not about single tools such as AI

    • it is not about single channels such as podcasts

    • it is not about what topics, but how they are covered

  • that local advertising needs to get fundamentally local again because…

    • …locals continue to buy and sell locally, as consumers and as businesses

    • …locals are born, grow, are educated, have fun, work, spend their free time, start a family, get older and finally die …here

    • we do not think markets like classifieds and family ads are lost. We believe that information asymmetries still exist in all these advertising categories.

The team

Cecilia Campbell

Innovate Local Program Editor. Cecilia is a Swedish media journalist who's spent 25 years covering the digital transformation in news media from Sweden and the UK. She co-led WAN-IFRA's executive programmes for 10+ years, writing reports and running workshops and study tours internationally on topics from reader revenues to editorial development and innovation in digital advertising.


Niklas Jonason

Innovate Local Program Director. Niklas is Swedish and has 35 years of experience of business development, tech and digital transformation particularly for local news media, in roles such as CEO, board member and management consultant. Early in his career he worked at IFRA in Germany and in France, and for the past 30 years he’s had key positions in developing and running services in ed and ad tech for Swedish local media.


Martin Fröhlich

Director of the Digital Revenue Network at WAN-IFRA. Martin has been in the industry for 25 years, working for local and regional newspapers in a variety of roles including head of digital transformation, reporter, media coach, head of newsroom, project manager, moderator and technical adviser.


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