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 2023 Local Journalism Researchers’ Workshop, to be held February 16-17, 2023, at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

This event, organized with the support of the Democracy Fund, 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.

November 15: Submission deadline
December 15: Notification date
February 16-17: 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 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.”

Q&A with local news researcher, Andrea Lorenz

By Honor Knapp | June 29, 2023

“I think it’s exciting when people in their own community look around and wonder if they could have a better local news system than what they have and try to do something about that.”

Q&A with Canadian local news researcher, April Lindgren

By Caitlyn Yaede | June 21, 2023

“We’re looking at concerns and issues that have been highlighted (in local news and local news models ) so that we can perhaps avoid making those same mistakes as well here.”

Q&A with rural news researcher, Gregory Perreault

By Caitlyn Yaede | June 7, 2023

“So, I would hope that one of the things the local journalists can take from this research is a sense that they are doing something distinctive and invaluable to their community that would otherwise not exist.”

Q&A with Western NC researcher, Brenda Murphee

By Katelyn Chedraoui | May 17, 2023

“Nobody to our knowledge had looked at the region as a whole and tried looking at doing a deep dive into news and information ecosystem and needs of particular communities within one of our key regions in the state.”

Q&A with media and politics researcher, Danny Hayes

By Caitlyn Yaede | April 24, 2023

“Having local new news sources is one way to maintain communities in a geographic sense that is, I think, harder to maintain in a more globalized era.”

Q&A with news engagement researcher, Yiping Xia

By Caitlyn Yaede | April 17, 2023

“If you are a journalist or (leading) a newsroom, I will definitely suggest that you talk to immigrant audiences more often.”

Q&A with local news researcher, Teri Finneman

By Katelyn Chedraoui | April 3, 2023

“I was asking, why is it that after all these decades, academia has not yet helped the news industry solve this business model crisis yet?”