In the News


South seeing largest amount of ‘news deserts’

"South seeing largest amount of 'news deserts'" by Laurel Huster for The Newnan Times-Herald, September 14, 2019 "The South has the most counties without newspapers, a grand total of 91. Almost every state in the South has at least one news desert. In Georgia, 28 out of 169 counties do not have a newspaper, according to Abernathy. That number is increasing."

From co-ops to direct public offerings, local news outlets get creative to stay afloat

"From co-ops to direct public offerings, local news outlets get creative to stay afloat" by Zoe Sullivan for Next City, August 28, 2019 "The journalism landscape has transformed dramatically since the turn of the millennium when more than 400,000 people were employed at newspapers in the US. By September 2016, less than half that number remained employed, and over the first five months of this year, Continue Reading

A paradox at the heart of the newspaper crisis

"A paradox at the heart of the newspaper crisis" by Marc Tracy for The New York Times, August 1, 2019 "Over the last decade, the finance industry noticed that newspapers were distressed — but potentially valuable — assets that were available at bargain-basement rates, said Penny Abernathy, the U.N.C. journalism professor who wrote last year’s report, 'The Expanding News Desert.'"

Are local papers beyond saving? A test in Ohio

"Are local papers beyond saving? A test in Ohio" by Lukas Alpert for The Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2019 "The Vindicator’s impending collapse may mark a turning point in the decline of local papers, industry watchers fear: Larger media groups that had typically snapped up such properties in the past are now weighing whether they are salvageable at all. 'We Continue Reading

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

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