There Isn’t One Best Way to Map Local News Ecosystems. But Can We Do it Better?
It’s a series of questions we get often at the Center for Cooperative Media: How many news organizations operate in New Jersey? How many are print versus radio versus television? How many people do they employ? So what parts of the state have no local news source? How can we help those places?
The problem is, we can’t answer these questions with complete accuracy. In fact, we don’t know anyone who can. Despite the volume of research currently under way about news ecosystems, there is no gold standard; many studies to date have critical flaws, such as focusing on only one type of media, using too few sources to feed underlying databases, or considering news only through a strict geographic lens.
We believe that knowing the true landscape of the local news ecosystem in this digital age could help our work, and others, in so many ways.
More than a year ago, the Center began work on a new methodology to address this urgent question.
Sarah Stonbely, writing for Nieman Lab, dives into mapping local news ecosystems. It’s worth your time.