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.

LISTEN: Growing audience during a pandemic

By Beth Hatcher

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

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: UNC Table Stakes success stories

By Beth Hatcher

With the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media (CISLM) now in the fourth cohort of our UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative, we take a look back at a selection of past participants, who give us their thoughts…

Whiteville’s The News Reporter adopts UNC Table Stakes’ digital-first mindset for successful transition

By Beth Hatcher

This Editor & Publisher piece profiles the digital success of The News Reporter in applying lessons learned from the UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative. The 124-year-old newspaper in Whiteville, NC, took part in the 2018-19 cohort of the initiative.…

Abernathy part of 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…

QCity Metro: A UNC Table Stakes tale of success

By Editor

 Those of us who have been in the media industry for years have seen it grow and change in unexpected ways. And, those who pivot successfully amid a shifting landscape often have to demonstrate extraordinary grit and discipline to get…

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…