An Approach to Assessing the Robustness of Local News Provision

Authored by: Philip M. Napoli , Matthew Weber , Kathleen McCollough

The Routledge Handbook of Developments in Digital Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138283053
eBook ISBN: 9781315270449
Adobe ISBN:


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As local journalism evolves in response to challenges posed by the technological changes that have taken place in the media sector (Anderson et al., 2012; Downie and Schudson, 2009; Picard, 2014), one growing concern is that significant differences exist across communities in terms of the extent to which journalism sources are serving people’s information needs. Research raises concerns that, in some communities, local journalism is essentially collapsing, with the decline and (in many cases) disappearance of traditional news outlets leaving massive unfilled gaps (what Stites 2011 has termed “news deserts”; see also Ferrier’s 2013 analysis of “media deserts”). These gaps may create greater opportunities for political and corporate corruption to flourish in ways that can undermine effective democratic participation (Starr, 2009).

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