Article | Open Access
| Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 16 January 2024
“It’s New to Us”: Exploring Authentic Innovation in Local News Settings
Ragnhild Kr. Olsen
Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Australia
Abstract: Many local newsrooms across the globe have been forced to re-assess (and re-assert) their value and function during a period of intense digital disruption. “Innovate or die” has become an accepted mantra as governments, policymakers, and academics focus on shifting, for example, traditional newspapers into the digital era to maintain their perceived relevance. This article argues the need to understand and learn from the experiences of traditional commercial local news providers who have been encouraged to consider innovative solutions for their businesses. The article adopts a pooled case comparison approach, drawing on data from two separate studies examining media innovation in Norway and Australia. We outline three specific themes that appear to shape localized innovation practices: there is ambivalence or challenge to innovation discourse; introduced innovations are done so incrementally and re-contextualised to adapt to a local setting; and there is an authentic approach to innovation that prioritizes change aligning with local journalism’s social and community values.
Keywords: authenticity; localized innovation; local journalism; local news; media innovation
Ahead of Print
© Ragnhild Kr. Olsen, Kristy Hess. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.