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Successful combination strengthens democracy

Monday, May 22, 2023

There is a great need for physical places for meetings and conversations, as a counterweight to our increasingly digitized society. Here, the libraries are an unused arena - it shows a unique collaboration between local news media and libraries. The cooperation has been further strengthened by resident initiatives and other actors, a successful combination to strengthen democracy. Take a look at Media & Democracy's recent report.

Personer diskuterar i grupp

The report summarizes the project Local democracy in a digital world, a project in which local news media and libraries in three cities collaborated to investigate whether, via activities and new forms of collaboration, they can strengthen knowledge and news dissemination, opinion and opinion formation as well as media and information literacy - not least before the election last autumn.

The project has been studied by media researchers Malin Picha Edwardsson and Maria Zuiderveld at Södertörn University. Through interviews with the participants, they have analyzed the work based on questions such as what similarities and differences exist between the local newspapers and the libraries, how work forms and processes change when they collaborate and how the collaboration changes the approach to their positions in the local democracy.

The results show great potential in collaborations between libraries and newsrooms - but not without challenges.

"The biggest effect of the project was probably that the involved librarians and journalists were inspired by each other and saw the potential in the joint democratic work going forward" - the researchers write in the report.

ABC om ”Lokal demokrati i en digital värld”

Projekttid: 1 januari 2022-30 juni 2023.
Deltagare: Borås Tidning, Falköpings Tidning, TTELA, biblioteken i Borås, Falköping och Vänersborg samt Södertörns högskola och Förvaltningen för kulturutveckling i Västra Götalandsregionen.
Finansiering: Projektet omsluter nästan 1,3 miljoner kronor och medfinansieras av Västra Götalandsregionen kulturnämnd med 600 000 kronor. Övriga finansiering utgörs av insatser från deltagande aktörer.