Chicago to Oslo: International reach for local news summit
By Dylan Smith | Oct. 15, 2017
As editors and publishers from around the United States gather at the LION Summit, the importantance of local news all over the world will be reinforced by a group of about a dozen journalists from Norway.
Sponsored by the Norwegian Institute of Journalism (an organization with perhaps the shortest URL ever), the managers from small news outlets around that Scandinavian nation will join LION members from the U.S. and Canada, and attendees from other countries, in discussing how to effectively rebuild local journalism.
The group first sent a delegation to the LION conference in 2016, and has again organized a group of editors to attend in 2017.
"Norway has a large number of small newspapers (circulation 1,000 – 5,000), serving communities all over the country," said Asgeir Olden, associate director of Institutt for Journalistikk, about the initial delegation. "They are all on print (and on the Internet), and most of them have done remarkably well in a period when larger newspapers have struggled, particularly when it comes to circulation."
"Ad revenue has, however, dropped steadily, making the financial situation difficult for many. All of them are looking for new business models and tricks and tips of the trade," Olden said. "The LION conference is an opportunity to learn how net-based local media find niches, business opportunities and ways to survive."
"We will absolutely be back (this year)," he said of the 2017 conference.