How can local journalism make attractive and contemporary content available to younger people? Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp and Prof. Dr. Wiebke Loosen have not only conducted extensive research on the topic of local journalism, but also developed the app "molo.news" - a digital platform for local news. In BredowCast they talk about their findings.
Local journalism finds itself somewhere between a marksmen's fair and a small animal breeding club, doesn't it? For Andreas Hepp from the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) at the University of Bremen, there is definitely something true about this common cliché of local reporting.
"Local journalism is usually integrated into long-standing contexts within a city or region and sometimes uses traditional formats with whithout reaching parts of the population. Young readers in particular often feel that they are no longer addressed by this kind of reporting".
Together with Wiebke Loosen (HBI), Andreas Hepp has been researching local journalism in recent years in the project "Tinder the City", funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and has been looking for new communication channels for local news.
In addition to the classic output in the form of scientific articles, the project has also produced the app "molo.news" - a digital news platform for Bremen and the surrounding area. The App can be downloaded for free since 15 June 2020. "molo" stands for "moving local". The app is literally intended to depict what moves the city, in a joint news feed with all important news from local news providers, associations and other collectives.
It is unusual for a social science research project to produce such a true-to-life, practical output. However, Wiebke Loosen believes that this model will be seen more often in journalism research in the future. "As a journalism researcher, I have to know about the processes of software development and be able to understand the views of all participants on these processes. It is also nice to see how the expertise gained during research can be turned into a product that will hopefully survive the period of the actual research project."
Research Articles on molo.news
Prof. Dr. Wiebke Loosen
Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp
Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research