In the News


Local news: Going, going… gone

"Local news: Going, going... gone" by Penelope Abernathy for American Heritage, Spring 2019 "While more and more readers prefer to receive news online, this dramatic loss has been driven not only by changes in reader preference, but also by the business decisions of newspaper owners. The decrease in daily circulation comes primarily from the pullback of metro and regional newspapers from distribution to outlying Continue Reading

In news industry, a stark divide between haves and have-nots

"In news industry, a stark divide between haves and have-nots" by Keach Hagey, Lukas Alpert and Yaryna Serkez for The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2019 "Meanwhile, about 400 online-only local news sites have sprung up to fill the void, disproportionately clustered in big cities and affluent areas, the UNC study found."

When no news isn’t good news: What the decline of newspapers means for government

"When no news isn't good news: What the decline of newspapers means for government" by Alan Greenblatt for Governing, April 24, 2019 "Owners and publishers willing to plan for the long term will be able to ride out the journalism industry’s ongoing transition from print to digital, says Abernathy, the UNC professor. But there are many communities that lack the economic Continue Reading

When “Local News” Isn’t Local

The Impact of News Deserts in Research from Pew, Facebook        Two concerning and contradictory findings about local news attitudes emerged from a Pew Research Center study released today. While half of Americans say local media don’t cover their communities, almost three-quarters don’t realize that the loss of local news has been driven by the demolition of the business model that Continue Reading

Shrinking newspapers and the costs of environmental reporting in coal country

"Shrinking newspapers and the costs of environmental reporting in coal country" by Charles Bethea for The New Yorker, March 26, 2019 "According to an Associated Press analysis of data compiled by the University of North Carolina, some fourteen hundred American cities and towns have lost a newspaper during the past fifteen years. There are now more than a thousand communities in the United Continue Reading

Facebook says it wants to do something about news deserts

"Facebook says it wants to do something about news deserts" by Kristen Hare for Poynter, March 18, 2019 "The data Facebook is sharing with the researchers doesn’t come with any money, but Abernathy said it will include links to the stories shared on Facebook, the news outlets and cities. That information can help her and others get a better sense of Continue Reading

Facebook wants to feed users more local news. There just isn’t enough of it.

"Facebook wants to feed users more local news. There just isn't enough of it." by Keach Hagey for The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2019 "One-third of Americans live in a place where Facebook can't find enough local news being shared on its service to justify building a localized aggregator for that area, according to data released by Facebook on Monday."

Going to pieces

"Going to pieces" by Chris Davis for Memphis Flyer, March 14, 2019 "Ending rural and regional home delivery also contributed to the nationwide rise of what are now being called "news deserts," a dynamic that worsened with corporate acquisition and subsequent shuttering of hometown and family newspapers in places where 40 to 60 percent of the population may not have broadband Continue Reading

Collaborating at the Capitol: A new Illinois reporting service nearly doubles the number of statehouse journalists

"Collaborating at the Capitol: A new Illinois reporting service nearly doubles the number of statehouse journalists" by Christine Schmidt for NiemanLab, March 13, 2019 "Seven in ten newspapers in the U.S. did not have a statehouse reporter in 2014, a Pew analysis then found, and it’s quite conceivable that that number has only grown since. Between 2003 and 2014, the number of full-time Continue Reading

Our View: As always, we find clouds, fog in Sunshine Week

"Our View: As always, we find clouds, fog in Sunshine Week" for The Fayetteville Observer, March 12, 2019 "We’re beginning to wonder how people will keep their government accountable as newsrooms continue to shrink and many newspapers go out of business. According to data compiled by the University of North Carolina, more than 1,400 cities and towns in the United States Continue Reading

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