The new Media Access Research Atlas is an interactive map of all the places in the country where people live in media desertsplaces where it is difficult to access daily, local news and information. The map is part of the Media Deserts Project, a joint research project of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, the Department of Geography and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.


Media Desert: A geographic area lacking in fresh, local news and information.

The new name for the maps better reflects what the tool demonstrates. The Media Access Research Atlas has updated estimates of media access using 2010 census data. The new locator allows users to search by state, county, and ZIP code to see the number of daily newspapers in a region and the percent of the population over the age of 18 that are reading them.

The Media Deserts Project uses geographic information system technologies to map the changing reach and penetration of media to the ZIP code level. Our goal is to identify areas that lack access to fresh, local news and information. We map layers of daily newspaper circulation, hyperlocal online news sites and other emerging media to identify underserved and underrepresented communities.

For more information on The Media Deserts Project, contact Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University, (740) 593-0899 or ferrierm(at)ohio(dot)edu.

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