Beta Borås: Younger News Universe for Local Community Journalism and Debate, stage 2
What local community journalism engages 25-35-year-olds and how ready is the target group to pay to consume it? From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, stage 2 of the unique and acclaimed research and innovative project Beta Borås: Younger News Universe for Local Community Journalism and Debate.
The project's partners are Borås Tidning, RISE Interactive, Södertörn University, Gota Media's development team and Medier & Demokrati. Medier & demokrati's role is that of overall project manager and knowledge disseminator.
25-35-year-olds are a difficult target group to attract whose media consumption and mix of media are a major challenge publishing-driven news media. With the independent test editorial staff Beta Borås at Borås Tidning, the project's initial step was success fill in finding the keys to engagement and appreciation as source of local journalism that differentiates itself from what research observed earlier in many ways. Beta Borås focussed on substantive questions, relied more in public education and used new and creative forms of publication and narrative where test, audio, photography and video are combined.
- How you reach this age group with relevant community journalism is one of the key questions for the entire media sector right now, says Borås Tidning Editor in Chief Stefan Eklund.
In the second state, working methods, experiences, digital tools and narrative forms are tested directly in Borås Tidning's journalism and internal channels. It means that the target group's interests and consumption can be measured more accurately, and in an entirely different scope thanks to greater availability of qualitative traffic data.
- I think that stage 2 can give the media sector and research more qualitative, enhanced knowledge about the target group's view of local journalism. But it will also provide greater knowledge about editorial change processes and the challenges that they comprise, says Maria Zuiderveld, researcher at Södertörn University who analysed the test editorial staff's journalism in Beta Borås 1.
Attempts to test and analyse the target group's willingness to pay for local community journalism is also new and the project continues to analyse how publication via social media can be linked with publication in media corporations' own digital platforms in parallel. It is also important to develop sustainable business models.
The project has an economic scope of SEK 2.9 million. 1.5 million are funded externally by the Anne-Marie and Gustaf Anders Foundation and Gota Media. Other financing is provided by the project's partners.
In association with the project, the project 24/7 at TTELA is studied to a more limited extent. 24/7 is inspire in part by Beta Borås. The target group is also younger adults and the starting point is live testing and development of new local content that is factual, relevant, credible and available digitally round the clock every day of the week.