Project: Regpress 2

Providing quality and gaining efficiencies in regional press in the digital era.

What is Regpress?

What is the role of regional and local press in a global media culture? Departing from that question, the research project Regpress (The Regional Press Project) aims to understand the role of local media in southern Sweden where the local press has had a strong position since the 19th century. Regpress examines the role and value of the local press today, in a time when the printed press faces multiple challenges: digitalization, to keep and expand circulation and selling advertisement space. What does the local press mean to its audience today?
The first part of the Regpress project started in 2015 and raised questions on the relationship between media and local citizens, how journalism supports diversity in media representation and how to avoid discontinuity in the global media age. Conducting surveys and interviews with journalists and readers, research showed that the local press in southern Sweden still has a strong position. The first part of this project ended in 2017 and is summarized in a final report here
During 2018–2019, the Regpress continues in order to get a deeper understanding of the role of local media and how local press can work in an efficient way while facing current challenges. The aim of Regpress 2 is to support regional press development by conducting research that is both practical and also provides a wider and deeper understanding of the context in which the regional press operates. The regional press has a role in the functioning of democracy as well as being a core part of community life. However, there are challenges to this with limited resources.

The research will support the regional press in facing its challenge in becoming leaner and more competitive whilst maintaining its role as being a ‘trust anchor’. The approach is one where research adds to and deepens knowledge about the environment in which the regional press operates, as well as provides applied research for practical purposes.

The research has three objectives:

  1. Understanding readers’ news priorities in selecting coverage for quality press provision. To identify and analyse what readers of the regional press say they want from papers and what is most important to them.
  2. Designing quality and trust in online news provision. To explore and understand how to design trust into online interfaces and interactions, departing from participatory design workshops with readers, journalists and digital developers.
  3. Positioning innovation to support the role of 'trust anchor' of the regional press. Taking the findings from the two objectives above, the third objective will address the ways in which new innovations, such as personalisation of news, affects the relationship between the regional press, communities and readers. 

Regpress 2 is an international collaborative project between Linneaus University, University of Glasgow and Gota Media AB.

Project leader

Project team

Bridgette Wessels
Bridgette Wessels, Professor
University of Glasgow