Mapping the Media Ecosystem

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

The ability of local citizens to be informed and engaged with their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations and governments has become more difficult with recent changes in the media landscape. Since 2008, more than 120 newspapers have ceased operation in communities across the United States. We propose a model for identifying media deserts – defined as geographic communities that lack access to fresh local news and information. This research seeks to build a visual representation of newspaper circulation in the United States using geographic information systems and 2000 census data to identify these media deserts. The dynamic online model will allow individuals and communities to identify and remedy media deserts through journalistic innovations and media entrepreneurship.

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