Today we’re highlighting a piece by Jez Walters at What’s New In Publishing. The article, “Can Portugal’s Mensagem be a new hyperlocal publishing model?” interviews co-founder Catarina Carvalho about a new digital newspaper, Mensagem, that launched in central Lisbon, Portugal in February 2021.
The outlet is funded by the management of a local cafe, as well as being the recipient of funding from the Google News Initiative Growth Program and the Facebook Accelerator Programme.
Our journalism is supported by a membership program that includes special events and community discussions/talks, and that is a core of what we do, creating a community hub both online and offline. Our core readers are those who are deeply engaged with the City of Lisbon, both young and old.
– said Carvalho
Here are a few of our big takeaways:
- The outlet focuses on local stories which inspire readers; a positive, narrative-style which engages with coverage of their own neighborhood.
- The digital-only publication has a strong presence on Facebook and Instagram as that is where it’s members are, on platforms that allow for visually compelling content.
- The publishing model: constructive, positive storytelling has a future for many localities, possibly franchised across different territories.
Creating a community news presence can be a daunting challenge for local residents, depending on the number of people involved. To address these challenges Our-Hometown provides services that scale from the smallest daily or weekly publication to full-scale integration of content, subscriptions and ad networks.
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