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

2022 Diversity audit research & recommendations

Newsroom diversity has long been recognized as critical to the mission of local news. However, gathering an accurate understanding of diversity in newsrooms has proven a difficult undertaking due to low response rates.

In partnership with NC Local News Workshop, we published our NC Diversity Audit, a three-part package containing a research report on the journalism workforce of NC, recommendations from a panelist of analysts and an overview of both co-written by both centers' directors.

Table Stakes Cohort 5: Who’s on your bus?

By Erica Perel | Jan 27, 2023
Posted in

Internal and external factors can speed or slow the journey, and sometimes, the bus – the engine of change – breaks down.

What we learned about NC journalism workforce

By Erica Perel | Dec 6, 2022
Posted in

The Diversity Audit of NC Newsrooms sent us on a project of discovery this year and has yielded information that will help us serve journalists, communities and newsrooms — next year and beyond.

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
Posted in

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.

Lansing State Journal declines lead to shifting business model

It’s difficult to balance limited resources with sustaining a print product and an expanding digital landscape. The news isn’t all bad, Perel points out. New digital mediums mean new ways for diverse voices to infiltrate the industry.

CISLM serves local news organizations through LION sustainability audits

When making informed decision-making for your organization, Perel advises surveying audiences to evaluate their needs. This audience research is imperative to understanding who you are writing for and how they behave.

Celebrating Latinx journalists during Latinx Heritage Month

Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media Director Erica Beshears Perel emphasized the importance of Latinx journalists and their multifaceted services to the industry.

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.