In mid-November, the Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University issued its annual "State of Local News Project" report, which now counts 6,000 newspapers in the United States, which comprises approximately 1,200 dailies and 4,790 weeklies.
This year, the study also reported on 550 digital-only local news outlets, 700 ethnic media organizations and 225 public broadcasting stations producing original local news.
The report's executive summary stated, "There was both good news and bad news for local journalism this past year. The good news raised the possibility that a range of proposals and programs could begin to arrest the steep loss of local news over the past two decades and, perhaps, revive journalism in some places that have lost their news. The headlines on the bad news resoundingly conveyed the message that urgent action is needed in many venues — from boardrooms to the halls of Congress — and by many, including civic-minded organizations and entrepreneurs."
Some of the report's key findings include:
New this year was a "Bright Spots" map that showed the local news startups in the U.S., highlighting 17 outlets they labeled “with promising new business models for the future.”
In this episode of "E&P Reports," we un-pack Medill's 2023 "State of Local News" report with co-authors Senior Associate Dean Tim Franklin and Visiting Professor Penelope Muse ("Penny") Abernathy as we investigate their latest findings and methodology, as well as what this data means when it comes to the future of local journalism in the U.S.
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