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Collaborative Creation of Trust through Local Media Innovation

Speakers: Annelie Ekelin & Jeff Winter

Moderator: Tony Curzon Price

December 10th, 2020, 15-15:30

Report by Ruben Sansom

Key Words: Local Media, Trust, Internet, Social Media, Subscriptions

Presentation summary

Local media have faced a challenging time of late as digital media have rapidly expanded, whilst print press has imploded. However, local media in Southern Sweden have succeeded in maintaining their role as a trust anchor for the local population. This is down in part to their successful renewal efforts, but also to their historically strong position in the local communities.

About the project:

  • The project is named the ‘Regpress 2 Project’ that is a follow-up to the first Regpress project which was a partnership between the Barometer Foundation, Linnaeus University and Fojo Media Institute (FOJO).

  • Aim is to analyse changes of trust in the specific role of media in Southern Sweden, where the local press has held a strong position since the 19th century: What role does regional press play in the media landscape and how do they connect with the local population?

  • Core question of analysis: How can the local press work efficiently whilst facing the challenge of remaining relevant in a simultaneously expanding and imploding (digital expansion but implosion of traditional print newspapers) media landscape?


The research project is still in progress so cannot accurately determine its impact yet.

Limitations and risks of the approach

The project is specifically centred on the case of Southern Sweden. This is an area where the local media is historically of great importance. The findings can therefore not be easily replicated in other regions.

Key takeaways

1. The digital expansion and simultaneous implosion of traditional print newspapers has created a challenging situation for local media.

2. Swedish local media has managed to strike a balance between renewal and maintaining its position as a trust anchor. For example, the research finds that many people check the truthfulness of news of social media through their local paper.

3. To a large extent, this is due to the historically strong position of local media within local communities in Southern Sweden.


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