Papers and articles about this project

Project papers

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.

Articles about the project

“The topography of local news: A new map” April 29, 2020. By Sarah Stonbely and Jesse Holcomb. Columbia Journalism Review.
“Mapping the local news ecosystem – with scale but detail.” December 2018. By Sarah Stonbely. NiemanLab, Predictions for Journalism 2019.