The News Ecosystem Mapping Project (NEMP) at the Center for Cooperative Media is a first-of-its-kind effort to map, at a granular level but with scale, all local news providers, and local news ecosystems, for an entire U.S. state: New Jersey.

Along with mapping local news providers, we gathered other basic data about them, including their primary medium, whether they primarily serve an ethnic audience, their ownership structure (independent versus conglomerate), the outlet’s frequency of publication, and the character of the area it serves (rural, suburban, or urban). In this way we are able to identify news deserts and news oases in New Jersey, as well as outlines of communities that are often served together – local news ecosystems.

In addition, we gathered structural data about all 565 municipalities in New Jersey, including median household income, the percent of the population with a college education or higher, municipal spending per capita, voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election, and whether the municipality voted Democrat or Republican in 2016. We are using that data, correlated with the number and type of local news providers, to identify the structural characteristics common to news deserts and news oases.

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