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Local editor 2.0

How should a journalist in a local editorial office work in an optimal way? How can the media create greater engagement and new forms of local journalism? These were the starting points for the research project "Local Editor 2.0".

The project was initiated and run by the newspaper Sydöstran in Blekinge, with Södertörn University and Media & Democracy as collaboration partners. The goal was to learn more about how to optimally work as a journalist at a local editorial office in today's digital world:

  • How important is it that the journalist is stationed in the place that is being monitored?
  • How does one create more participation with readers?
  • How can a younger target group be reached?

An important part of the research project consisted of in-depth interviews with people living in Olofström and Ronneby, where Sydöstran has its local editorial offices. The study examined issues such as:

  • What do the residents want to know?
  • How can a daily newspaper be a significant player in a small town?
  • How should municipal politics and other socially important functions that affect the everyday lives of residents be monitored?

The project "Local Editor 2.0" was led by Sydöstrans editor-in-chief Anders Nilsson. Media researcher Malin Picha Edwardsson at Södertörn University was responsible for the research itself, while the role of Media & Democracy mainly was to disseminate the knowledge and experiences that are drawn. The idea was that both Sydöstran and the news media in general would gain knowledge that strengthens local journalism.

The research project was conducted in 2021 and covered just over SEK 900,000. The parties' own efforts made up two thirds, while one third was state innovation support for Sydöstran.