GREIFSWALD GOES GLOBAL
This spring, we can witness the first steps of a reinvention project and follow it on its bold enterprise. It starts from one of the most ordinary spots in the world: Greifswald. At first sight it covers one of the most boring industries: local newspapers. Nevertheless it has the potential to radically transform journalism. Globally.
The small city of Greifswald in the northeastern corner of Germany is a place probably many people have never heard of before. 60.000 inhabitants, a quarter of them are students. Nothing seems to qualify Greifswald as a place to start the reinvention of the global local journalism. 70 years ago though, the disruption of the global media industry started from a similar place. This place was Adelaide in Australia, and that was exactly where Rupert Murdoch started his venture.
IT’S TIME AGAIN FOR A PARADIGM CHANGE IN JOURNALISM
So, let’s have a look at what Benjamin Fredrich is longing for. He’s 33 years old and in 2015 he started one of the most successful new magazines in Germany: Katapult, a kind of cartography fanzine. Fredrich pictures himself as a daredevil revolutionary. He started battles with traditional media outlets from Bild to Süddeutsche to taz, mostly to convince people and papers that they should treat him at eye-level. Following that, in March 2021 he crowdfunded a local newspaper for his home province Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In just a week. He was fed up with Nordkurier, Greifswald’s traditional local paper – it was too xenophobic for his opinion.
His transformational idea is to launch a purely subscription based local newspaper, staying independent from big advertising sponsors. That way, one only hast to feel accountable for the supporters and readers. High aspirations, good product, stellar growth, enthusiastic supporters: This could be the ingredients for an even bigger story. Scaling his activities across Germany and even beyond – another thing he has in common with Murdoch.
A HYPER LOCAL PROJECT IN THE MAKING
It will be interesting to see how his big transformational ideas will be translated into relevant and entertaining content. The interaction as a team will be crucial for success. As a subscriber we are more than excited to see the actual outcome!