Local Newspapers’ Transition to Online Publishing and Video Use: Experiences from Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournalism Studies. 2021, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2021.1922303
This paper traces convergence and innovation processes in five local newspapers in the Inland Norway region. It is an explorative bottomup study of how local legacy newspapers’ use of digital technology relates to organisational factors and business models, as well as their journalism. Based on interviews with chief editors and video journalists, the paper shows that these local newspapers adapted in specific ways, sometimes differ from their national counterparts. Each newspaper established a web-edition and later implemented a paywall. This change of business model relates to a change of focus from clicks to subscribers. The change is also reflected in their journalism, focussing on certain topics and more in-depth reporting. While attempts at video reporting turned out to be expensive, streaming local sports became an important element in attracting new subscribers. However, it was easier for those newspapers integrated in larger conglomerates to use these innovations as the parent company provided competence in analysing viewer figures, and because innovations could spread from one local newspaper in the company to the others.