REPORT: US communities are hurt by ailing local press

Untitled by happyelli, licence CC0 1.0

The Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media (CISLM), part of the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism, has launched a supplementary report on so-called “news deserts” in the United States. It is a follow-up to an earlier report published in fall 2016.

The new report updates the previous one with new developments in the US newspaper market. For example, most investment groups seem to have put a hold on making bulk acquisitions, and the large 10/13 group has even turned to “aggressively” letting go of its papers. At the same time private chains, such as Hearst, are increasing their ownership.

Included in the report are also short articles that investigate the effects of news scarcity and ownership concentration on local communities. Articles deal with, for example, the differences in how investment chain owned papers and privately owned papers cover local politics. A comparison of five North Carolinian newspapers discovered that privately owned papers covered local issues in greater detail than investor owned papers, which were much more reliant on wire copy.

The report “Thwarting the emergence of news deserts” can be freely downloaded from the CISLM website.

Picture: Untitled by happyelli, licence CC0 1.0.

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