INMA Elevate Scholar: Catherine Edwards of The Local

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


On October 28, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals around the world. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Catherine Edwards became a journalist because she wanted to make a difference in the world, and she is wasting no time in making that aspiration a reality.

Catherine Edwards became a journalist to ensure that people's voices are heard.
Catherine Edwards became a journalist to ensure that people's voices are heard.

After graduating from the University of Oxford in 2015, she joined Sweden-based The Local as assistant editor. After two years, she became the Europe editor, leading The Local’s collaborations with organisations such as the European Journalism Centre and the Solutions Journalism Network. Edwards also worked on The Local’s audience engagement and membership strategies and was chosen to spearhead its work on a major EU-funded project, which saw her leading a four-person team to develop a curriculum on reporting about migration. Through that programme, she has trained more than 100 journalists.    

“My main goal is to help people’s voices get heard, which encompasses both readers and colleagues, particularly those from under-represented groups,” she said.

Edwards is eager to work in newsrooms that are deploying innovative approaches to the industry and is particularly interested in learning more about implementing design and product thinking. 

“For me, journalism is all about the readers and community, so I aspire to a role which allows me to write or commission articles that make a concrete impact, for example through solutions-focused journalism,” she said.

However, she also wants to continue gaining experience as a mentor so she can support newcomers to the industry. As part of that support, she wants to do her part to ensure diversity and inclusion become a standard within the journalism world.

Edwards has worked hard to ensure inclusiveness in her work environment, and  she continues to listen and learn.

“I try my best to listen to others, collaborate, and take time to learn, so that I can be as aware as possible of what changes are needed, and know how to either make these changes or who to ask for help.”

Edwards’ talent and ambition have not gone unnoticed; she has earned national and global awards, including The Local Sweden being named Sweden’s Popular Publisher of the Year in 2018, when she was part of the two-person editorial team. In 2020, she was named one of FIPP’s three Rising Stars in Journalism and was also awarded Rising Star of the Year by the Swedish Magazine Publishers Association.

In 2021, Edwards was selected for a Google Digital News Initiative scholarship and became a regular presenter of The Local’s news podcast, as well as serving as lead editor of The Local’s first book, which explores the Swedish language and lifestyle. She recently moved to a new role as Austria editor.

About Paula Felps

By continuing to browse or by clicking “ACCEPT,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your site experience. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our privacy policy.