In the News

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

Inside the lobby of the UNC School of Journalism and Media, The News Reporter is a fixture, with a featured display celebrating the small newspaper’s work prominent upon entrance. The Whiteville, North Carolina paper, owned by the Thompson-High family, provided…

Local Journalism Sustainability Act introduced to House of Representatives

By Preston Fore The Local Journalism Sustainability Act, a bill that aims to help preserve local journalism through tax credits to readers, publications, and small businesses, was re-introduced to the House of Representatives this week with bipartisan support. Also known…

Could Congress act to support local news? A flurry of activity creates optimism

By Andrea Lorenz Nenque There seems to be little groundswell of general public support for the government to help ailing local news outlets or news deserts, despite the important role local news has played in the past year during the…

Nonprofit newsrooms turn rivalry into revenue streams

A recent Better News episode of the It’s all Journalism podcast features Erica Perel, new director of the UNC Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media (UNC CISLM), in a segment examining a UNC Table Stakes-inspired fundraising challenge Perel…

Serving local news: Erica Beshears Perel named new director of CISLM

During Erica Beshears Perel’s two decades in the news industry — as a reporter, educator and executive — change has been the constant, as news has become increasingly digital and traditional revenue sources have shifted. The changes motivate Perel, a 1998…

Introducing Project Oasis: New research and strategies for digital news startups

In partnership with the Google News Initiative, LION Publishers and Douglas K. Smith, the UNC Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media (CISLM) has released the results of the most extensive look in a decade at the emerging digital…

UNC Table Stakes participant forms nonprofit journalism center

News ink flows in Les High’s veins — so does thinking progressively. Local news has been the family business since 1938, when his grandfather purchased The News Reporter, located in southeastern North Carolina. But High, the newspaper’s third-generation leader, knows…

UNC Table Stakes participants detail wins in diversity, audience and revenue

Increased revenue. Innovative engagement with communities of color. Audience-driven product launches. These were just some of the wins detailed at a recent meeting by the 14 media organizations participating in the UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative, currently in its…

Laid-off reporter starts own news site, provides critical coverage during 2020 election

Robin Kemp was the only journalist watching Clayton County, Georgia’s tabulation of absentee votes as President-elect Joe Biden overtook President Donald Trump during the November election, turning the state blue for the first time in decades. Votes from Clayton County…

LISTEN: Growing audience during a pandemic

Growing a diverse audience during a pandemic is not easy, but it can be done. In this Better News podcast, Cierra Hinton, executive director-publisher of Scalawag, talks about how the nonprofit media organization employed Table Stakes principles and used virtual…

Senators introduce bill proposing commission on local news

In September, three U.S. senators introduced a bill called the Future of Local News Commission Act, citing news deserts research from UNC Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Abernathy. Lauren Harris writes about the bill for the Columbia Journalism Review,…

UNC Table Stakes participant uses events (virtual and in-person) to grow membership

Who says you can’t grow membership during a pandemic? Scalawag, a participant of the 2017-18 cohort of the UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative, is using virtual and in-person events to diversify audience and grow membership. Better News profiles how…