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Media column: the added value of local journalism

Media column: the added value of local journalism

When Mark Zuckerberg wrote four years ago that his Facebook algorithm would favor “local publisher” in the future, many “local publishers” took it as good news. Additionally, the digital giant has been supporting media-related hundreds of millions of dollars for so-called accelerator programs since 2019. Neither of them occurs from pure charitable work.
Because after the global assault on national business models, the most fortified media fortress has long been in the eyes of the tech giants – the local. β€œAll work is local,” all work done local: this truism still applies.

Above all, regional publishers call the permanent sentence: β€œ95 percent of people spend 95 percent of their time within a 25-kilometer radius.”
This shows the most valuable content for Facebook & Co. But Zuckerberg means “the local publisher” anyone who supplies it to him. The author is not preferred but the original. This leads to an intensification of competition for the local press, which generally guarantees the greatest trust from the media.

Surveys show that wherever a community newspaper exists – even if it performs poorly – it sometimes outperforms broadly oriented, high-quality newspapers. Mainly because of its exclusive reports from the immediate domicile.
When a team led by media researcher Andy Kaltenbrunner dedicates itself to the local citizen in the Seventh Press Report, things continue. It highlights the delay in the digitization of these reports, which in Austria rely particularly on paper. But rethinking must begin before technology is pushed through. Local sections are often the lifeblood, even in full editorial offices.

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However, in the internal press hierarchy, dating categorizes as a sport of equal popularity under, moreover, running. In order to prepare for the digital competition with everyone, a rethink of the situation is required. Because trust in a broker is determined on site at least as much as it is determined by rating world events.

Gaining and maintaining local credibility requires quality. The difference between press and publications should always be clear. However, this is due not only to the sender, but also to the recipient. He should be able to tell the difference. On both sides some catch up.
But only the weakness of many recipients allows some senders to be neglected.