In the News


The violence of the market

"The violence of the market" by Victor Pickard for Journalism, 2019 "But the most glaring manifestation of the market’s destruction of journalism is the sheer loss of jobs: the newspaper industry has been reduced by more than 50% since 2001 according to the U.S. bureau of labor statistics. Creating vast ‘news deserts’(Abernathy, 2016), newspaper closures, bankruptcies, and extreme downsizing are accelerated by ‘vulture Continue Reading

150 years of the Chattanooga Times Free Press spelled out in headlines

"150 years of the Chattanooga Times Free Press spelled out in headlines" by Davis Lundy for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Jan. 13, 2019 "The people who owned newspapers in Chattanooga understood that journalism is not just a way to make money, but a calling," Abernathy said. "It is a mission-driven enterprise where the primary mission is to produce the news and Continue Reading

The outlook for journalists

"The outlook for journalists" by Karen Egolf for Crain's NewsPro, January 2019 Abernathy says legacy media that want to succeed need to set up a five-year plan and focus on the individual needs of their communities while also investing in their employees, or “human capital.” “That means there’s not going to be one business model that works for all news organizations or Continue Reading

As the ecosystem of news changes, will journalists adapt fast enough?

"As the ecosystem of news changes, will journalists adapt fast enough?" by Kenton Bird for High Country News, Dec. 24, 2018 "UNC’s Abernathy is encouraged by the digital startups providing local news, with more than 500 identified in her team’s report. Still, she notes that 90 percent of those are in metropolitan areas, where there are multiple news outlets to choose Continue Reading

The Fresno Bee and the War on Local News

"The Fresno Bee and the War on Local News" by Zach Baron for GQ, Dec. 19, 2018 "In October, the University of North Carolina's School of Media and Journalism released a study that estimated that a full 20 percent of all local newspapers have gone out of business or merged since 2004. Since then, an additional 1,300-plus communities in the United Continue Reading

Newsonomics: 18 lessons for the news business from 2018

"Newsonomics: 18 lessons for the news business from 2018" by Ken Doctor for Nieman Lab, Dec. 19, 2018 "Penny Abernathy’s ground-assessing research has given us “news deserts” and now, in her latest report, “ghost newspapers.” Both are highly descriptive. This year, I added NINO to that vocabulary: Newspapers In Name Only."

TIME Person of the Year 2018: The Guardians and the War on Truth

"The Guardians and the War on Truth" by Karl Vick for TIME, Dec. 12, 2018 "In the U.S., local newsrooms are disappearing fastest. Since 2004, the U.S. lost nearly 1,800 newspapers, the UNC Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media found in an October report. Half of the 3,143 counties in the U.S. now have just one newspaper, usually a Continue Reading

Byron, Dodge Center newspapers to cease publication

"Byron, Dodge Center newspapers to cease publication" by Jeff Kiger for Post Bulletin (Minnesota), Dec. 11, 2018 "A recent study of “news deserts” by the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism found more than 3 million Americans in 171 counties in the U.S. have no newspaper at all. However, Minnesota’s 87 counties all have at least one Continue Reading

The Problem with News Deserts and How They Affect Communities

"The Problem with News Deserts and How They Affect Communities," WBTV On Your Side, December 7, 2018 (Video):

Focus Carolina: Penny Abernathy

"Focus Carolina: Penny Abernathy" by Dakota Moyer for 97.9 The Hill WCHL, Nov. 26, 2018 In an interview with WCHL, Penny Abernathy discusses her research and insights after nearly a decade of exploring the decline of local newspapers. Abernathy says it is critical for newspapers to adapt to the changing media landscape and details ways that newspapers can continue to succeed Continue Reading

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