From next year, Askøy24 will compete against Askøyværingen.
Yngve Johnson plans to hire two journalists when he starts a new local newspaper in Askøy from next year. About 28,000 people live in Askøy municipality, and the Polaris newspaper Askøyværingen has always covered the municipality.
BA first mentioned the new establishment.
– You may have to be from Askøy to understand that this is something I can achieve, and that a man in his early 50s can take up the fight with a Polaris newspaper, says Johnsen, who previously worked in Askøyværingen.
For the past 16 years, however, Johnsen has run the content agency Laiks AS, and had the video magazine Askøy24. He describes the video magazine as “Around Norway in miniature”, with positive and interesting stories from Askøy.
– It has been a great success on Askøy, financed with content marketing. But it has not been a newspaper.
Askøy24 has close to 15,000 followers on Facebook and Johnsen says he has received several questions about why he has not gone all in and bet on a local newspaper.
– About three years ago, I started thinking about the idea. I missed the real journalism, even though we made real reports. I missed asking critical questions, an editorial environment and being together about a good local newspaper.
It was now or never, says Johnsen, who is overwhelmed by how good the response has been after he announced the new venture. Now he is looking for two journalists and one more employee to handle ads.
– It will be very exciting.