News and Posts

The Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media is proud to host original article series, reports from faculty and researchers, and events promoting collaboration among researchers, journalists and universities. Browse our library of articles, videos, interviews, announcements, upcoming events and more.

What history teaches us: How newspapers have evolved to meet market demands

By Editor

Throughout history, newspapers have had to adapt to constantly changing business conditions.  This excerpt is from an article published in the SAGE International Encyclopedia of Mass Media and Society, which will serve as a reference for undergraduate and graduate students.…

Cultivating digital ‘oases’ in the local news landscape

By Courtney Mitchell

The Google News Initiative announced Project Oasis today in a blog from UNC CISLM Director Susan Leath. In my 30 years of working in journalism, I’ve seen first-hand the value of trusted news sources that help citizens connect and engage.…

A conversation with the News & Observer’s Robyn Tomlin: Local news coverage in the time of COVID-19

By Editor

  Robyn Tomlin  is the Executive Editor at the News & Observer and Southeast Regional Editor for McClatchy. A Carolina native, Tomlin majored in journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill and was an editor of the Daily Tar Heel. She went on to become the…

Penny Abernathy interviewed on supporting local news during COVID-19

By Beth Hatcher

This New York Times piece quotes Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Abernathy’s U.S. News Deserts research in a piece examining coronavirus’ effect on local news as the pandemic cuts off ads and live events, hitting outlets…

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

By Beth Hatcher

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…

Annika Sehl: How can public broadcasters become more digitally savvy?

By Editor

One of a regular series of articles that highlights research in the academy and the profession on the emerging threat of news deserts or changes in media ownership. These are questions with Annika Sehl, a research fellow at Reuters Institute…

UNC Table Stakes participants speak at Knight Media Forum

By Beth Hatcher

The Knight Media Forum in Miami Feb. 26-28, 2020, featured participants in the UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative on a panel exploring Charlotte, North Carolina’s collaborative media environment. Glenn H. Burkins, founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, an independent, for-profit…

UNC Table Stakes participants — past and present — win big at 2020 NCPA awards

By Beth Hatcher

Several participants of the UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative — past and present — were recognized at the recent North Carolina Press Association (NCPA) awards, in categories ranging from website excellence to best headline writing. Many of the media…

Making metrics work for readers

By Beth Hatcher

Successful media entrepreneurs know loyal and engaged customers lead to increased growth in customers and profits for their enterprise. Digital metrics offer media organizations unprecedented insights into audience habits, but must be used wisely to avoid publishing dubious content and…

Penny Abernathy speaks at launch of UNC library local news exhibit

By Beth Hatcher

A new exhibit celebrating two centuries of North Carolina’s local news publications kicked off at the UNC Wilson Special Projects Library Feb. 27 with a talk by Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Abernathy, who shared her…

WATCH: Penny Abernathy discusses journalism’s future on ‘Story in the Public Square’

By Beth Hatcher

UNC Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Abernathy recently appeared on the Pell Center’s “Story in the Public Square” program where she discussed her groundbreaking U.S. News Deserts research and her thoughts on journalism’s future.    She stressed the need for today’s journalists…

UNC Table Stakes participant wins industry innovation award

By Beth Hatcher

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, a Cohort 2 member of the UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative, recently won top honors at the Key Executives Mega-Conference in Ft. Worth, Texas. The Democrat-Gazette won the Mega-Innovation Award for an iPad initiative the newspaper refined…