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


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) aim 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 local press today, in a time when the printed press faces multiple challenges: digitalization, to keep and expand circulation and selling advertisement space. What do 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 local press in southern Sweden still has a strong position. This first part of the project ended 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 provides a wider and deeper understanding of the context in which the regional press operates.  Regional press has a role in the functioning of democracy as well as being a core part of community life.  However, there are challenges in delivering that with limited resources.

The research should support the regional press in facing its challenge in becoming leaner and more competitive whilst maintaining its ‘trust anchor’ role. The approach is one where research adds to and deepens knowledge about the environment in which regional press operates as well as provide 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 that want from papers and what is most important to them.
  2. Designing in quality and trust in online news provision. To explore and understand how to design in trust into online interfaces and interactions, departing from participatory design workshops with readers, journalists and digital developers.
  3. Positioning innovation to support the trust anchor role of regional press.Taking 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