CISLM will grow a more equitable and sustainable future for local news, the journalists who make it and the communities that need it. Through the intersection of research, education and practice, we will redefine sustainability to mean more than revenue. We will cultivate, feed and support the human resources who will reinvent journalism.

Reinventing Local News

Featured Project

Local News Researchers' Workshop

The DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy at Duke University and the Center for Sustainability and Innovation in Local Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are accepting participation proposals for the 2023 Local Journalism Researchers’ Workshop, to be held February 16-17, 2023, at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

This event, organized with the support of the Democracy Fund, will bring together researchers across the academic, industry, non-profit, and government sectors whose work addresses contemporary issues confronting local journalism.

a student holding a falcon delicately on his forearm

How student journalists, local news org partner to meet NC environmental news needs

By Katelyn Chedraoui | Nov 22, 2022
Posted in

There are very few classes at the UNC Hussman School where one can expect to hold a falcon. But for junior Caleb Sigmon, MEJO 562 has brought a lot of new experiences.

five panelists sit on a stage

NC-based journalists discuss the research possibilities of local news nonprofits

By Sarah Vassello | Nov 21, 2022
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Nonprofits are the third largest sector in the U.S., and news organizations may be able to utilize findings and best practices from researchers who specialize in studying philanthropy and nonprofits.

screenshot of We the People intro slide, featuring We the People text and photos of reporters interviewing folks

How a newspaper in Virginia is centering readers in its reporting

By Lucas Thomae | Sep 27, 2022
Posted in

Journalists at The News Leader in Staunton, Virginia are working with each other and with their UNC Table Stakes coach to engage more readers — not politicians — in the process of watchdog reporting.

I shuttered my own news startup. Here’s what journalism should learn from my experience.

By Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen | Jul 22, 2022
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I’m sharing what worked – and what didn’t – in hopes that these lessons are carried forward to a more reflective, equitable future for journalism.

LISTEN: Rethinking the business of local news

Featuring UNC-Knight Intiatitve Table Stakes alumni members Glenn Burkins of QCity Metro (cohort four) and Angie Newsome of Carolina Public Press (cohort two), the podcast highlights how the news industry has changed in the past few years.

Through Table Stakes, Knoxville News Sentinel improves coverage of Black communities

Citing the newsroom’s involvement in the UNC-Knight Table Stakes Initiative, Social Justice, Race and Equity Reporter Angela Davis wrote that the Knoxville News Sentinel is making good on its commitment to improving its coverage of Black communities.

How N.C. A&T students changed the way Greensboro newspapers make headlines

North Carolina A&T State University students researched local news reporting in Greensboro and discovered that media outlets often used the institution as a locator for crime in its surrounding region.

NC family with local news legacy wins Tom and Pat Gish Award

The award is an honor given to leaders with significant accomplishments in independent news — and was spurred based on former Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media Director Penny Muse Abernathy’s recommendation of The News Reporter.