Medill’s Spiegel Research Center (SRC), a leader in consumer and audience-based research that drives financial outcomes, is analyzing many terabytes of anonymous data about reader behavior and customer motivation at three Learning Labs – the Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and Indianapolis Star. The goal: Identify what content and behaviors drive consumers to engage with and pay for local news.
The Northwestern University Knight Lab, renowned for its development of digital storytelling tools and platforms, is interviewing news consumers and assessing data on their online behavior to inspire creation of products, tools and approaches that are designed to improve reader engagement, bolster financial sustainability and better inform citizens.
Medill is analyzing data from a variety of media markets in a project to correlate local news consumption with other demographic factors in those areas. Each media market has its own personality, and no single solution can cure the problems of local news everywhere. But by identifying common characteristics, we can draw valid comparisons and share innovative ideas.
Medill is conducting in-depth interviews with media industry figures and thought leaders to uncover financial innovations that can sustain local media during this turbulent time. The aim: To empower local news organizations with new possibilities. This research will be integrated with the Local News Initiative’s other work to ensure maximum impact.