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Survey shines spotlight on the under-studied world of local journalism

posted November 18, 2016

A new online survey is asking local journalists in the US to share their story as part of a wider initiative examining the health of the local newspaper industry.
Supported by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Knight Foundation, this project, "Local News in a Digital World," comes at a time of continued disruption for the wider newspaper industry.

The statistics speak for themselves:

  • Between 2007—when there were 55,000 people employed in newsrooms—and 2015, newspapers shed over 20,000 jobs.
  • Between 2004 and 2014, more than 100 daily newspapers closed.
  • Over 2015, the advertising revenue of the US’s seven publicly traded newspaper companies fell by 7.8%—the largest decline since the Great Recession.

Recent studies have focused on what these numbers mean for national newspapers. But a major study of the most recent challenges and opportunities US’s 6,851 daily and weekly small-market newspapers4 face has been lacking.  It's this story that "Local News in a Digital World" aims to uncover. Featuring the conclusions from this new questionnaire, as well as insights from more than 50 industry interviews, the study is set to be released in early 2017.

The findings from the survey - and the wider research - can help inform and encourage a wider conversation about the future of local media.  Complete the survey to help with the study.  Deadline EXTENDED until midnight, December 4th.

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