Penelope Muse Abernathy and Tim Franklin, "The State of Local News 2022" (Northwestern Univerity, Medill School, October 4, 2022).
More than a fifth of the nation’s citizens live in news deserts—with verylimited access to local news—or in communities at risk of becoming newsdeserts. Seventy million people live in the more than 200 counties without a newspaper, or in the 1,630 counties with only one paper—usually a weekly— covering multiple communities spread over a vast area. Increasingly, affluent suburban communities are losing their only newspapers as large chains merge underperforming weeklies or shutter them entirely. However, most communities that lose newspapers and do not have an alternative source of local news are poorer, older and lack affordable and reliable high-speed digital service that allows residents to access the important and relevant journalism being produced by the country’s surviving newspapers and digital sites. Instead, they get their local news—what little there is—mostly from the social media apps on their mobile phones.