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

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 Washington Post, held at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

EducationNC, an online news site focusing on North Carolina education issues, was a 2018-19 participant in the UNC-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative. Guillory, a professor of the practice at UNC Hussman, serves as EducationNC’s vice chair and editorial advisor.

Abernathy’s research from her recent report “News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers: Will Local News Survive?” — her fourth published since 2016 — added context to the EdNC column’s commentary on the lecture, in which Baron highlighted the critical need for strong media during a time when economic pressures have shuttered media outlets around the country, and the public’s understanding of the media’s role in democracy is eroding.