Use this interactive national map to begin your own analysis.  Click on any of the four tabs above and place the cursor over the state to get a snapshot. To delve deeper, select a state in the drop-down menu below the map.

Who Owns Your Newspaper?

Where Have Newspapers Disappeared?

Who is Trying to Fill the Void?

2018 Report

The Expanding News Desert, identifies the U.S. communities most at risk and delves into the implications for the news profession and the country.

Download a PDF of the new report.

What's New

Spotlight on Research: Ryerson University Professor April Lindgren documents the loss of local news throughout Canada.

Find Your State to See More

Need a Digital Strategy?

Survival Guide for Community Newspapers

2018 Report: The Expanding News Desert

Learn more about the dramatic loss of local newspapers in recent years and the media barons who are transforming the industry.
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Spotlight on Research

Interviews with researchers examining the information needs of communities and implications for news organizations in the digital era.
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global earth rotating Digital World News Studio Background for news report and breaking news

Spotlight on Newsmakers

Explores how innovators and news organizations are reinventing local journalism.
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Previous Reports

Learn more about the changing newspaper landscape by reading reports produced by the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media in 2016 and 2017.

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news desert

[nooz dez-ert, nyooz dez-ert]


  1. a community, either rural or urban, with limited access to the sort of credible and comprehensive news and information that feeds democracy at the grassroots level.

The UNC School of Media and Journalism’s  Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media has a section just for news entrepreneurs and innovators.  Get practical insights from the video lessons and advice you can use from the case studies.  Both the lessons and the case studies draw on extensive research into digital business models by Penny Muse Abernathy, co-author of The Strategic Digital Media Entrepreneur (Wiley Blackwell: 2018).

To survive and thrive in the digital age, community news organizations must think – and act – differently. Publishers and editors of community newspapers and digital sites can get step-by-step guidance on creating new business strategies, and learn how other news organizations are shedding costs, generating new revenue and reimagining local journalism.