Phase I of this five-phase project was a meta-review of the literature that created a typology by which to group ecosystem studies according to the guiding metaphor employed, the boundaries used, and the method. This analysis was then used to devise the ideal method for identifying and analyzing news ecosystems – one that could be both granular enough to reflect people’s lived experience of their local news, and scalable, to allow meaningful comparison. Read it here.
Phase II involved building a comprehensive list of local news providers serving New Jersey (including those based in NYC and Philly), collecting structural information about those outlets and about the municipalities they’re located in, and creating an online map to visualize this information.
Phase III will be an analysis of the structural characteristics of the local news ecosystems that make up New Jersey, categorized as news deserts and news “oases.” This will involve performing comparative analysis to discover which types of municipalities and local news ecosystems support robust local news and which do not, providing scaled empirical data to address this urgent question. We anticipate this phase beginning in Summer 2020.