About the Archive

Thank you for your interest in our research. The following data are available:

  • UNC Newspaper Database 2004-2020
    •    Newspapers 2020 - Active U.S. newspapers as of 2020
    •    Newspapers 2018 - Active U.S. newspapers as of 2018
    •    Newspapers 2016 - Active U.S. newspapers as of 2016
    •    Newspapers 2014 - Active U.S. newspapers as of 2014  
    •    Newspapers 2004 - Active U.S. newspapers as of 2004  
  • UNC Database Digital - Active digital-only news sites as of 2020
  • UNC Database Public Radio - Data from 2020
  • UNC Database Public TV - Data from 2020

Data may be filtered and downloaded by the following fields:

  • Database: Newspaper, Digital, Public TV, Public Radio
  • Outlet Type (for digital outlets): State, Local, Regional
  • State
  • Year (text entry): 2004, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020

Data is also searchable by keyword. This is a good option for searching for specific owners or for specific publications.

About the U.S. News Deserts Project

This data was collected as par tof the U.S. News Deserts Project. Knight Chair Emerita Penny Abernathy led The U.S. News Deserts Project, which produced four reports assessing the U.S. local news landscape, as well as two books — The Strategic Digital Media Entrepreneur and Saving Community Journalism — aimed at helping media organizations survive and thrive in the digital world.

The News Deserts Project documents areas of the country at risk of becoming “news deserts” while also working with dozens of news organizations to create sustainable business strategies. The Center defines a “news desert” as “a community, either rural or urban, where residents have limited access to the sort of credible and comprehensive news and information that feeds democracy at the grassroots level.”

 The News Desert project has produced four comprehensive reports highlighting industry changes and ways to thwart the rise of news deserts: The Rise of a New Media Baron and the Emerging Thread of News Deserts (2016), Thwarting the Emergence of News Deserts (2017), The Expanding News Desert (2018), and News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers (2020).

You can read the archived reports, see data visualizations, and more at https://www.usnewsdeserts.com. Information about the 2022 and 2023 updates to Abernathy's work at Northwestern is at https://localnewsinitiative.northwestern.edu/projects/state-of-local-news/