The crisis in local news is indisputable: Round after round of layoffs, expanding news deserts and abandoned areas of coverage, particularly in the case of long-established print publications. Now, the challenges to local television news are beginning to accelerate.
The Great Recession of 2007-09 and a technological transformation in news delivery have combined to disrupt the business model for news organizations and their advertisers. That has set off a scramble — some would say panic — in search of solutions.
This research effort, the Medill News Leaders Project 2019 at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, does not have all the answers. What it has are more than 50 interviews with some of the news industry’s finest thinkers. In these talks with Medill, they share eye-opening insights and bold innovations to help news organizations navigate through today’s choppy waters and deliver information to the American people.
Medill thanks the Robert R. McCormick Foundation for its generous support of this project.
Interviews with 54 people who are managing the transformation of local news offer insights into the crisis and possible paths to financial health.
The project took a close look at two aspects of the crisis: the struggle of some African-American media, and a North Carolina news outlet’s efforts to diversify.
We interviewed a wide variety of people representing newspapers, digital start-ups, TV and radio in markets big and small.
About the Project
This report is aimed at the news industry, academic researchers and the public, with the goal that all will better understand the challenges we face by listening to these expert voices.
Beneficial Memberships for Local Newsrooms
A number of associations are designed to help bolster local news organizations. Though most of them require paid memberships, the cost can be worthwhile for outlets seeking additional resources or support.