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Do You Live in a News Desert?

Use this national map to begin your own analysis.  Click on any of the six tabs above to see the different maps. To delve deeper, select a state in the drop-down menu below the map.

Who Owns Your Newspaper?

Use this national map to begin your own analysis.  Click on any of the six tabs above to see the different maps. To delve deeper, select a state in the drop-down menu below the map.

Where Have Newspapers Disappeared?

Use this national map to begin your own analysis.  Click on any of the six tabs above to see the different maps. To delve deeper, select a state in the drop-down menu below the map.

Who is Trying to Fill the Void?

Use this national map to begin your own analysis.  Click on any of the six tabs above to see the different maps. To delve deeper, select a state in the drop-down menu below the map.

Where are the Ethnic Voices?

Use this national map to begin your own analysis.  Click on any of the six tabs above to see the different maps. To delve deeper, select a state in the drop-down menu below the map.

Is Public Broadcasting an Answer?

Use this national map to begin your own analysis.  Click on any of the six tabs above to see the different maps. To delve deeper, select a state in the drop-down menu below the map.

2020 Report

News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers: Will Local News Survive? What’s at stake for our democracy and what can be done to save local news.

Download a PDF of the new report.

What's New

Rate Your Local News

Use this simple exercise to test the quality and quantity of your local news sources. Find out what news you're missing.

Find Your State to See More

Need a Digital Strategy?

Survival Guide for Community Newspapers

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2020 Report: Will Local News Survive?

Learn more about the dramatic loss of news over the past 15 years and the potential for renewing journalism in the next decade.
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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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Spotlight on Entrepreneurs

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

Learn more about the changing news landscape by reading reports produced by the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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news desert

[nooz dez-ert, nyooz dez-ert]

noun

  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.