Reportar – Local reporters serving rural areas
A newspaper offered training and mentoring, so that local people could become correspondents and give visibility to the daily life of small rural communities.
A trend in local journalism in Sweden has been to centralise news reporting at a main editorial office. A local newspaper wanted to address this trend by establishing cooperation with local correspondents from villages in the municipality and give visibility to the daily life of small rural communities.
A series of initial meetings were organised to present the project to five villages and identify local people who would be interested in becoming correspondents for their community. These people then received training and mentoring on journalism from professional reporters. The reporters supervised and supported the local correspondents, both as individuals but also through regular group meetings to share their new knowledge and experiences. The promoter of the project is the media company SkånemediaAB.
To date, 430 published articles have been written by the local reporters.
The newspaper has 109 000 unique readers every day. The articles written by the local reporters have been viewed 49 450 times during the period 2018-11-01 to 2018-12-07.
The newly acquired skills in writing and photography inspired some of the participants to develop their own businesses.
The project increased visibility of, and awareness about, rural areas.
It also established a platform for rural news and rural perspectives. The local reporters still write about their communities - with guidance from the newspaper - on a voluntary basis, even though the project has ended.