Research & Analysis

UNC’s Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media supports established and emerging local news organizations through applied research and analysisThe Center documents the loss of local news across the U.S. while researching sustainable business strategies and innovative technologies for media organizations through three avenues of research.  


Local journalists enter the field motivated to serve communities and tell stories but struggle to forge a path for long-term career advancement that includes work-life balance and sustainable pay, according to a survey that asked more than 600 current and former local journalists about their careers.


At what point do local newspapers close or merge? What are the common factors and indicators of a point of no return? And for those still running news organizations, thinking of starting new ones or committing resources to creating informed communities, what can be learned about sustainability?


The story of local media advertising has been one of decline and one of disinvestment. It leads to a question: How do local ad buyers make decisions, and what do they plan on buying more of in the upcoming year?


Nearly one-third of Americans cited a local news organization as one of their preferred news sources — but who are these readers? CISLM took a closer look at the Americans who consume local news regularly and the mediums they prefer.


Increasingly, more support for local news is being seen at the national and state levels. Where is the support coming from, and in what form? Who are the government officials who are advocating for sustainable local news?


The journalists who power America’s struggling local news operations are experiencing burnout and considering leaving their jobs at high rates, according to results of a survey of more than 500 local journalists by the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media.


Now more than ever, audiences can rely on something other than traditional newsroom production efforts to be the sole sources of their information intake. So where are North Carolinians getting their local news?


CISLM and NC Local News Workshop partnered on a statewide diversity audit for newsrooms of all types in North Carolina.


This event brings together researchers across the academic, industry, non-profit, and government sectors whose work addresses contemporary issues confronting local journalism.


On its blog, NewsGuild wrote that 2021 was a record year: More workers joined the NewsGuild union in 2021 than in any year stretching back decades. What are these unions fighting for — and how effective are they?


The United States is losing information in communities across the countries as venture capital and private equity firms buy out local news — is your community a news desert?


CISLM focuses on research, but we're not the only folks in the school studying the future of local news. Research projects, theses, dissertations and more on local news from the UNC community.

Do you have any questions about our research?

Book some time with CISLM's research director Jessica Mahone for clarification, questions and more.

Other local news research from our peers