LISTEN: Penny Abernathy interviewed for three-part podcast series on the state of local news

Penny Abernathy

UNC Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Abernathy provided her insights for a three-part podcast series produced by Pew Charitable Trusts examining the issues facing local news and signs of hope for the industry’s future.

The first episode — live now — examines the reasons and metrics behind local newspapers’ struggles.

Eighty-five percent of digital revenue going to online sources other than local news sites. Print advertising that’s dropped below 1950 levels. One-fourth of the nation’s newspapers closing in the last 15 years. Abernathy lays down alarming numbers during her interview in the series’ first episode.

But there’s hope.

The podcast’s third episode will examine Massachusetts’ The Berkshire Eagle, where a small group of investors stepped in to save their local paper, representing one of the many new revenue models revitalizing local news.

Listen to Episode 1.

Listen to Episode 2.

Listen to Episode 3.

Learn more about Abernathy’s groundbreaking local news research at