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.

Senators introduce bill proposing commission on local news

By Beth Hatcher

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,…

Raising the stakes to ensure local news thrives

By Editor

A new $2.23 million Knight Foundation investment will support the UNC Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local News and Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative By LaSharah S. Bunting and Susan Leath The News Reporter, a newspaper in Whiteville, N.C., with a proud history…

UNC announces newest cohort for UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative

By Editor

The Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media (CISLM) and the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, announced the 14 media organizations participating in its fourth cohort…

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

By Beth Hatcher

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…

Want to build audience? Start with newcomers

By Beth Hatcher

Want to build audience? Take an idea from The Pilot, a participant in the 2017-18 UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative — start with newcomers. This Nieman Lab piece outlines how the 100-year-old newspaper based in Southern Pines, North Carolina,…

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…

The Pilot, The News Reporter and WVPB: Table Stakes success stories

By Beth Hatcher

As the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media (CISLM) gears up for a fourth cohort of the UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative, a selection of past participants of the initiative give their thoughts on what the program…

Abernathy takes part in Tow Center panel discussion on news deserts

By Beth Hatcher

UNC Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Abernathy joined news researchers from around the country in a Sept. 9 Tow Center for Digital Journalism webinar “Redefining the Local News Crisis: Deconstructing the News Desert.” The webinar, the…

Carolina Public Press fills gaps left by traditional newsrooms

By Editor

When reporter Angie Newsome ’03 (M.A.) left the Asheville Citizen-Times in 2011, there wasn’t a single investigative or political reporter working the western side of the state. “There was a fair amount of frustration that traditional newsrooms would say, ‘No…

QCity Metro: A Table Stakes tale of success

By Editor

 Susan Leath is the director of the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media at UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Those of us who have been in the media industry for years have seen it grow and…

Penny Abernathy’s research referenced in piece about recent UNC Hussman lecture

By Beth Hatcher

Penny Abernathy’s research on news deserts has influenced the national conversation over the future of journalism, writes Ferrel Guillory in a column for EducationNC, in which he offers commentary on a recent lecture by Martin “Marty” Baron, executive editor at The…

Abernathy part of upcoming Tow Center panel on the local news crisis

By Beth Hatcher

UNC Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Abernathy will take part in a virtual panel discussion, “Redefining the Local News Crisis: Deconstructing the News Desert,” sponsored by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism…