An International Press Institute report found that there is no single model that works for local news media.
The report – which involves discussions with both new digital start-ups and traditional media in transition – found local news publishers are opting for a range of experiments when it comes to serving readers. For instance, certain publishers are leveraging WhatsApp to offer a Monday to Friday e-paper in PDF format across 200 WhatsApp groups.
By leveraging WhatsApp to engage audiences, local publishers are getting direct access to reader feedback data. Publishers are also using WhatsApp groups to offer niche, community-specific information and updates. But, they also say that social channels, like Twitter, are particularly effective for distributing news content. Such publishers generate revenues through advertisements, documentary work and multimedia services like live streaming.
Visual storytelling is another key factor for certain publishers, who are banking on formats like vertical scroll storytelling, animated videos and longer reports to engage readers. They are also relying on timelines, fanzines and exhibitions in public spaces like museums to engage audiences. While distributing content through social channels can help publishers expand reach and grow the subscribers’ list, visual storytelling can deepen their interaction with subscribers.
[4 minute read]