Local newspapers in free fall

I guess we all agree that the world is constantly changing. Everything seems to go faster and faster, and the world is becoming more and more digital. Digitization has, and will, changed our everyday, business, work and social life. It has greatly affected our media habits.

In Canada, as in most markets globally, local newspapers across the country have fought for their existence. Since 2008 to date, as many as 344 local newspapers across Canada have had to close, and only 65 have started. That corresponds to a net loss of a whopping 279 newspapers - and that in just 14 years!

Let me be clear: The loss of local media is a crisis for small towns across Canada.

Andrea Ziegler
Editor in Chief at Raven Community Media

The ripple effects of not having local newspapers are many. And like many other things: You don't know what you have until it's gone. Some of the consequences that they experienced in Canada are:

  • A reduction in responsible reporting of the local environment and in the local community.
  • Loss of local-centric communication channels.
  • A big relapse into social media, which in no way manages to fill the void left by the newspapers

Building local media with the Innocode Media Bundle

In the spring of 2019, Andrea Ziegler, editor at Raven Community Media, searched for the key to a sustainable future for local media. Among other things, Zeigel was responsible for the launch of a new model for digital local media for Torstar.

Torstar is Canada's largest media house with more than 80 local newspapers and is also the owner of The Toronto Star.

Innocode Media Bundle + The Jasper Local = The Jasper Local 2.0

Jasper Local has been an umbrella for several local newspapers for decades, beginning as an independent news and lifestyle magazine exploring social, health and environmental issues in and around Jasper, Alberta. But people's changing media habits, the digital transition, have created a need for new media channels. And this is where our paths cross.

On March 10, it was time for the large-scale launch of the new The Jasper Local 2.0: A completely digital format, delivered via app and online. Jasper Local 2.0 is built on the Innocode Media Bundle. We have extensive experience with local media here in the Nordics, and today we have over 150 media using the Innocode products and solutions.

The Jasper Local community app

Same, same, but different

Although the format has gone digital, parts of The Jasper Local will remain the same. Coverage of local and regional issues is unchanged, except that their stories can now be published continuously - brand new.

In addition, the digital platform allows new useful functions, such as:

  • An extensive calendar of events
  • Local classified ads
  • Personal messages
  • Updates from local groups & clubs
  • Special offers from local businesses
  • Quick links to information to help you plan your day.

The paper version of The Jasper Local has become history, but with The Jasper Local 2.0 they are ready to meet the demands of the mobile age.

Community media – not social media

The importance of owning your own digital platform, like with the Innocode Media Bundle, just becomes more and more important!. Jasper Local is local media and not social media: There are no algorithms that determine what you see!

Tailored to the user, not just you

With the Innocode Media Bundle, you as a user can tailor your own experience. You can decide which specific events or community groups you want to participate in. When groups you follow post an update, you'll be notified. And you can change these settings at any time: Follow the groups and organizations you prefer!

Enabling technology

The Jasper Local 2.0 is the first of many releases to come. Several small towns are on the way. And what they all have in common is that they aim to inform about local news, to increase community connection and to be a useful tool for organizing, informing and enjoying life in Jasper. So that users can quickly and efficiently find out what they need to know, so they can get back to their lives.

We share a passion for quality journalism.

Andrea Ziegler
Editor in Chief at Raven Community Media

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