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Over the past decade, a new media baron has emerged. Private equity funds, hedge funds and investment groups have swooped into to buy and manage newspapers. With the industry in distress and publishers struggling to adapt to the digital age, many communities are in danger of losing their primary source of local news and information. This report explores the long-ranging social, economic and political impact of this shift in ownership.

Technology and a Dramatically Changed Media Landscape
A Dramatically Changed Landscape

How the newspaper industry has changed over the past decade.
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The Rise of a New Media Baron
The Rise of a New Media Baron

How and when large investment firms came to own many of the nation’s newspapers.
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The Growing Threat of News Deserts to Journalism
The Growing Threat of News Deserts

Why there is a risk and where it is most prevalent.
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Saving Community Journalism in a Digital Age
Finding Solutions

Who and what can save community journalism in the digital age.
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“By giving people who might not otherwise be heard a powerful voice, local papers can bring about real, positive change for individuals and organizations who badly need help but have nowhere else to turn. In the age of social media in which anyone can be a publisher, local newspapers’ role as a source of trusted and accurate information has become even more vital.”
-Jonathan Edwards, International News Media Association, 2014

Additional Material

Just Posted: Former Fayetteville Observer owner Charles Broadwell talks about the importance defining and serving a community.

  • Publisher David Woronoff discusses how the twice weekly Pilot in eastern NC is trying to reach and engage millennials and military spouses through a new e-newsletter, The Sway.
  • Podcast with Penny Muse Abernathy – discussing the rise of news deserts and what that means for communities.
  • Former publisher Charles Broadwell discusses the decision to sell the Fayetteville Observer to New Media/GateHouse.
  • Dean Susan King of the UNC School of Media and Journalism discusses the importance of this report and the work of the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media.


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