News & Info Census

As news ecosystems have vastly changed over the past two decades, mapping the location of news outlets has been crucial to understanding who and what regions get news and information.

This analysis of news media in North Carolina maps the state’s local news ecosystem beyond the location of outlet headquarters, focusing on the number of outlets counties have access to and the specific counties that appear in reporting.

The entire NC News & Info report, including top-level findings such as:

  • Eastern North Carolina had access to the fewest outlets and was reported on the least of all North Carolina regions.
  • A majority of local news in NC originated from city centers.
  • All counties within NC were reported on by at least one public radio station and one commercial television station.

Assessing factors that contribute to local news coverage at the county level

This follow-up analysis examined the demographic factors that contribute to the gap between access and reporting, including:

  • Counties with the highest proportions of white residents had access to more outlets per 10,000 than counties with higher proportions of non-white residents.
  • Counties with the highest proportion of college-educated residents have a higher proportion of access outlets that report on them.
  • The median North Carolina county has access to and is reported on by four different types of media outlets.

Why a holistic approach to measuring news access matters

CISLM Director Erica Perel shares why a key measure of our report is the gap between a news outlet’s “reach,” or, a community’s access to a news outlet, and that news outlet’s reporting.

Access the dataset

For researchers: You may access the underlying data sets here. This database is published under a Creative Commons license that allows for non-commercial use, with attribution. Note on limitations: Because our methods relied heavily on existing databases and datasets of local media, we know that our list of news media in the state is likely incomplete. We hope to continually improve the accuracy and completeness of the datasets in future phases.