LokalMagasinet: a low-cost lifestyle project

(Republisert 29.12.23) Fra en undersøkelse av superlokale nettaviser i Norge, uten tilknytning til en papiravis, der Lokalmagasinets redaktør ble utspurt i en lengre telefonsamtale i 2018. Undersøkelsen av Lars Julius Halvorsen og Paul Bjerke ved Høgskolen i Volda ble publisert som vitenskapelig artikkel i Nordicom Review i 2019. Den inngår i et større internasjonalt prosjekt.
(Fra LM 20.10.2020)
LokalMagasinet was established in 2002 by the first and only editor of the online operation. At that time there was no other online or printed newspaper in Vestby, but Moss Avis had a relatively high household coverage in Vestby.

The editor was an experienced journalist with a background as a journalist in Moss Avis and editor in Vestby Avis, a weekly newspaper that closed down some decades ago. He wanted to offer a free, online newspaper with a focus on events in the local communities of Vestby, with a combination of magazine and breaking news content.

Just a few years after the start-up, the printed Vestby Avis (part of the Amedia group) was relaunched, increasing the competition for the Vestby newsreaders. According to the editor of LokalMagasinet, this was not a fair fight.

Backed by the Amedia group, Vestby Avis could publish with big financial losses during the first few years3 in order to reach the number of subscribers required to qualify for press support. As a result, the main coverage area of LokalMagasinet became limited to the inhabitants in and around the village of Son.

LokalMagasinet publishes one or two articles each day but has never had any significant income. The solution has been to keep the costs low. The editor works from home and lives on a retiree pension. In addition, he receives valuable unpaid help from friends and family members.

Neverheless, LokalMagasinet has lasted for nearly 16 years, running on the editor’s personal motivation and the pleasure he gets from his work. Under the current conditions, LokalMagasinet can be around for many years to come, but the activity of the newspaper is totally dependent on the editor.

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