Editor’s note: As part of the Google News Initiative, we work with news publishing partners across the world on efforts to help the industry thrive in the digital age. The following post comes from one of our partners Vincent Peyregne, CEO of WAN-IFRA.

Trust, democracy and civic engagement often take root within communities and neighborhoods. Local news plays a critical role in this process, and high quality and financially sustainable local journalism is indispensable for local communities to thrive.

Yet, unlike global news brands, local and regional newspapers don’t have—and can’t realistically grow—audiences beyond the geographies in which they operate, which makes it challenging to keep up with the changing nature of digital journalism. 

WAN-IFRA and the Google News Initiative are joining forces to launch Table Stakes Europe, a program to help local and regional newspapers find new ways to build local audiences, prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in society. Started in 2015 in the U.S., our vision with Table Stakes is to show how local changes make a global impact

Table Stakes Europe will build upon the proven Table Stakes approach, plus coaching methodologies that have helped dozens of local news organizations in the U.S.  improve their audience and digital capabilities and results. The Program is designed to help small and medium local and regional newspapers in Europe transform their business, increase consumer-based revenue, and build digital capabilities.

The program will begin in October 2019, and run for 10 to 12 months. We expect at least 10 small and medium local and regional news enterprises to participate from a variety of countries and backgrounds. Small and medium local and regional newspaper organizations can apply to the program by September 1st.

WAN-IFRA and the Google News Initiative are excited about bringing this opportunity to local news organizations in Europe and are looking forward to sharing the lessons and best practices with the industry at large throughout and at the end of the program.

* This article was originally published here