Welcome to our local news provider map, released in April 2020. This is our inaugural effort to map the local news providers serving New Jersey. We hope this map and its attendant search function will be useful to many audiences, including funders, academics, and the general population who want to discover local news providers near them. Please note that any changes since early 2020 are not reflected here (see below to let us know of any updates).
CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THE MAP
The map has several layers. The first two show the number of providers serving each municipality. “Total outlet count” includes broadcast outlets, while the next layer, “Local news originators,” shows only newspapers, digital-first/digital-native outlets, and a handful of public broadcast stations. The pop-up box for each municipality lists the outlets and shows the count of outlets by medium.
The purpose of the “Local news originators” layer is to highlight those outlets that are most likely to produce original local news – the stories which then circulate through an ecosystem by means of radio, television, and social media. The patterns in the Local news originators layer mirror roughly the “Median household income” layer, and the “Population density” layer – something we’ll discuss in detail in the forthcoming paper based on this data.
The municipalities with the higher numbers when the number of local news originators is weighted for population (layer “Local news originators per 10k population”) and income (layer “Local news originators per 10k income”) are those that have a density of outlets relative to those two measures. Again, we will dig into this further in the forthcoming paper.
The other layers – showing the percentage of the municipal population with a college degree or higher, municipal spending per capita, voter turnout, and whether the municipality voted Republican or Democrat in the 2016 presidential election – will be useful in identifying the structural features of a community that supports a robust local news ecosystem or does not (i.e. a local news desert).
One important note about the map: not included are several dozen outlets whose listed coverage areas were not contiguous (e.g. “the Filipino community in the tri-state area”); or are topic-based (e.g. an outlet that focuses on local climate coverage), or who do not have geographically concentrated audiences. These outlets will be included in the forthcoming analysis but were not able to be mapped in the way that the other local outlets shown here were.
A next step will be to identify, using the data mapped here, the local news ecosystems in New Jersey. One way to do this would be by performing cluster analyses to discover the municipalities that are most often covered together (or not covered together, as the case may be).
Click on any municipality to see the list of outlets that say they serve that municipality (our content analysis, forthcoming, will investigate which municipalities actually show up in the online coverage of the outlet).
You may zoom in to see the names of larger cities and towns to find specific areas, or hover over the map to see the names of individual municipalities.
- 565 municipalities, 21 counties
- 620 outlets represented (of 779)
- 495 Local News Originators (of 581)
- 113 ethnic news providers
- Highest number of local news originators serving a single municipality: 24
- Lowest number of local news originators serving a single municipality: 0
The outlets below are not represented on the map because their coverage areas are not geographically contiguous, are topic-based, or are too diffuse.