Local Journalism Researchers’ Workshop

The DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy at Duke University and the Center for Sustainability and Innovation in Local Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are accepting participation proposals for the 2024 Local Journalism Researchers’ Workshop, to be held March 25-26, 2024 at Duke University.

This event, organized with the support of the Knight Foundation, will bring together researchers across the academic, industry, non-profit, and government sectors whose work addresses contemporary issues confronting local journalism.

Specific topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Identification of new, successful modes for the production and delivery of local journalism
  • Policy or regulatory proposals at the federal or state levels to strengthen local journalism
  • The impact of local journalism on communities
  • Structural inequalities in the production/availability of local journalism and how to address them
  • Partnerships/collaborations to foster local journalism or local journalism research
  • Ways to measure the sustainability and/or impact of local journalism

Interested participants should submit a participation proposal of no more than 500 words. This proposal can describe a particular research project to be presented at the workshop or a description of a key issue or challenge that the participant is engaged with and that is of relevance to local journalism researchers. The Participation Proposal should include brief biographical information about the participant.

The workshop organizers and funders are particularly interested in showcasing the work of early-career researchers and researchers from traditionally marginalized groups. Toward those ends, a limited number of $1,000 travel stipends will be available to out-of-town attendees representing traditionally marginalized groups or out-of-town attendees from under-resourced organizations. Submitters seeking to be considered for travel support should include a separate statement of no more than 250 words requesting travel support.

January 5, 2024: Submission deadline
January 19, 2024: Notification date
March 25-26, 2024: Workshop

Please submit your proposal here. Reach out to Jessica Mahone (jamahone@email.unc.edu) or Phil Napoli (philip.napoli@duke.edu) with any questions.

Meet the Local News Researcher Community

Q&A with local news ecosystem researcher, Courtney Tabor

By Serena Sherwood | April 30, 2024

“We’ve done a lot of counting the numbers of local news systems, which unfortunately is almost obsolete as soon as it’s published, but it would be great to know more about the characteristics of our news.”

Q&A with local news propositions researcher, Volha Kananovich

By Shea McIntyre | April 11, 2024

“There’s an opening for us, as journalism scholars who are trained in doing systematic research, coming up with theoretically-informed ideas and then testing them empirically.”

Q&A with media and politics researcher, Sakshi Bhalla

By Shea McIntyre | April 3, 2024

“Individuals are more likely to engage with news that is close to them and personally relevant to their lives. Local news does exactly that.”

Q&A with Margot Susca on private investment in journalism

By Twumasi Duah-Mensah | March 11, 2024

“When profit is put first, one of the first things that happens is layoffs or they don’t fill positions. And you’re left with a community that is then underserved by the journalism.”

Q&A with sociopolitical local news researcher, Pranav Goel

By Twumasi Duah-Mensah | March 1, 2024

“If you’re reporting as a local journalist, (is) the lens by which you are framing these issues influencing national news reporting? (…) I think that could emphasize the responsibility of local journalism.”

Q&A with local news researcher, Asa Royal

By Twumasi Duah-Mensah | February 16, 2024

“It’s exciting to see people orienting around that—figuring out what community information needs are and figuring out how to build a product that fulfills them.”

Q&A with rural media researcher, Nick Mathews

By Reagan Allen | October 24, 2023

“In most rural areas in particular — and that’s where I study a lot — there’s a huge need for local news. I mean, there’s nowhere else for these folks to get the news themselves.”

Q&A with international local news researcher, Agnes Gulyas

By Caitlyn Yaede | July 20, 2023

“There are already some really interesting findings as we try to identify the specific sort of political, cultural, economic and cultural factors that influence the challenges of local media in different countries.”

Q&A with media sociology researcher, Patrick Ferrucci

By Honor Knapp | July 18, 2023

“Everybody changes and nobody’s really thought about, well, OK, maybe certain places can afford this, but a lot of places can’t. We romanticize change without really knowing if it actually matters.”

Q&A with Australian local news researcher, Kristy Hess

By Caitlyn Yaede | July 10, 2023

“There’s no one big solution for every country on the globe — it’s always quite context specific. Nonetheless, we can learn from each other.”