The app is based on an experimental news platform to promote cohesion in the urban public sphere.
At molo.news users can compile their newsfeed from different sources: From current information from various local news providers, cultural institutions, associations, district initiatives and other civil society collectives. The platform is supported by numerous local and regional media in Bremen.
The smartphone app molo.news for iOS and Android devices was jointly developed by ZeMKI (Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research), the Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib) and the Hamburg Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI). The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Molo stands for "moving local" – one of the aims of molo.news is to connect users more strongly with their living space. The platform is independent and aims to help various actors to achieve greater visibility in the city public and thus also to promote civil society involvement.
What moves the city? What can I move?
"The molo.news platform does not have the classic departments that newspapers have," explains Professor Andreas Hepp, communications researcher at the University of Bremen. It bundles news according to four questions: What moves the city? Where am I moving to? How do I move? What can I move? "By starting with such questions, users are given the opportunity to select content according to their interests and also to display it location-based". In order to make sure that nobody misses important news for the community, the hub editorial staff of molo.news marks selected news as "hot" and thus ensures that all users can see them in the newsfeed. molo.news is initially designed for the local area of Bremen and its surroundings. However, it can be extended perspectively to other cities and communities.
New ideas for digital media use required
molo.news is a result of the research and development project "Tinder the City – Software-based scenarios against the crisis of publics in cities and surrounding areas", funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Professor Wiebke Loosen, journalism researcher at the HBI: "Our starting point was that we noticed that traditional regional media were becoming less and less important, especially for younger people, but that there were no digital offerings yet. It is also clear that many media users want a completely different kind of platform for local news. In the project we tried to develop concepts and ideas for such a new kind of platform in an experimental way.”
In the first phase of the research project, the media usage needs of citizens in the Bremen area were researched. Based on these research results and several "co-creation" workshops with local public actors, the experimental concept for the platform molo.news was developed. Three research institutions from Bremen and Hamburg have joined forces for this project: The Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) at the University of Bremen, the Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib) and the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) in Hamburg.
Center for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI)
Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp