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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - May 2016

Completely Redefining the Purpose of Local News

It's always difficult to talk about the future of local newspapers and how to solve that market. It's not just the market that is in trouble, it's also that our very way of defining it has changed. This makes fixing local newspapers a different type of challenge than what we see in the rest of the industry, and a very difficult one at that.

So, in this article, I'm going completely redefine how we look at local news.

Before we start though, let me quickly summarize the differences between magazines, national newspapers and local newspapers:

Magazines, national newspapers and local newspapers

Every form of traditional media is experiencing a rapid and alarming decline, and the main reason is the sheer abundance of channels that are now available to us, combined with a new set of entirely different types of behaviors. And the reason why most publishers are failing is because they are still focusing on a format-first editorial strategy, rather than a behavior-first approach.

I have written about this extensively in many of my other articles. Here is one example.

You see this very clearly if you look at the magazine industry. Its advertising revenue is in heavy decline, but that's not because brands are looking for better places to advertise. For instance, while traditional magazine revenue is dropping, the concept that we call influencer marketing is booming.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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