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Local journalism expands media landscape in Switzerland


Launched last week, zentral+ is an independent online magazine from Lucerne, Switzerland. zentral+ is taking a local approach to journalism in the battle to diversify the media landscape of the Central Switzerland region. The magazine provides in-depth coverage of local politics, economics, society and culture in an online-only, daily-news format. 

Alongside innovative, quality journalism, zentral+ are putting their audience at the forefront of the dialogue. They have achieved this by building a sophisticated and reliable commenting system that centralises discussions within the site's online community. 

zentral+ independent online magazine

zentral+ independent online magazine

Their concern with engagement is part of a growing trend for news organisations to open up the journalistic process, taking cues from their readership and managing discussions as stories evolve. zentral+ is attuned to this demand and couples that with a need for independent media that is reflective of the local region. They focus primarily on the cities, Luzern and Zug. The readers can even set their home location in a profile switch to see content that is specific to their home region. 

Content, interaction and services for a local audience

In today's fast paced world of media, offering a multiplicity of mediums allows news to reach its audience. Working at Sourcefabric we always try to find the best solution for a customer, even if the editorial team is small. This was also appreciated by Yvonne Anliker, Chief Editor of zentral+, who said, "I really appreciated working with and the support by Sourcefabric, especially in the days before launching zentral+."

The Sourcefabric team offers custom solutions that revolve around Newscoop, our open source CMS, and manages the many ways zentral+'s readership can interact with the magazine online. zentral+ are using polls and debates that encourage discussion on news stories and foster dialogue on their social media sites. Additional elements that are built alongside zentral+ site include blogs, a news ticker, a comprehensive agenda with a movie section as well as a food section, including online-reservation services. Finally,one of the major additions of zentral+ is making use of a custom API that compiles top stories through the email marketing service Mailchimp  - that syncs the user's subscriptions with Newscoop - and sends them out as a daily, weekly or topic based email newsletter to the readers of zentral+.

Responsive design for all devices 

zentral+ responsive design

zentral+ responsive design

Working with an external design team, Men On The Moon, Newscoop was customised to construct a responsive design for zentral+. Increasingly news sites are built to respond to a wide range of screen sizes, so users can read any news content on their favorite devices. The audience of zentral+ can enjoy a beautifully designed responsive online magazine, that provides optimised usability on touchscreens like smartphones, tablets and of course also on the desktop.

  • Newscoop 4.1 was released last week. For more details about the latest features check here.