In the News

April 9, 2018

Media Deserts Project Creates Searchable Media Access Research Atlas

ATHENS–Ohio University’s new Media Access Research Atlas lets you find out just where daily newspapers are located in the United States and how much of the population in that area is subscribing to the newspaper.

The new Media Access Research Atlas is an interactive map of all the places in the country where people live in media deserts – places 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.

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.

“Media deserts are created when there is a lack of access to daily news and information,” says Dr. Michelle Ferrier, principal investigator for the project. “The map shows changes over time, helping us visualize the media landscape down to the local, ZIP code level.”

In “Media Deserts: Mapping the Changing Media Ecosystem,” in The Communication Crisis in America and How to Fix It (2016), Ferrier, Dr. Gaurav Sinha of the Geography Department and Michael Outrich, a graduate student at Ohio State University argue that the newspaper and local media have been key mediators in democratic processes in many communities. But as the reach, penetration and accessibility of the media landscape changes, who has been affected by these changes and are these declines a cause for concern?

Light yellow areas in the atlas indicate geographies served by one or two daily newspapers. Red areas indicate areas with multiple newspapers and a higher concentration of adults receiving the newspaper. Data for the newspaper display is drawn from the Alliance for Audited Media. Smaller newspapers may not report circulation numbers to AAM and may not be displayed in a geography. Please report additions or corrections to: https://goo.gl/forms/2brIERTRTYMePV3q2 or ferrierm@ohio.edu.

Recent analysis of newspaper circulation data has demonstrated an effect of the lack of daily local news on political participation. POLITICO conducted an analysis of voting patterns and showed how Donald Trump avoided mainstream outlets and appealed to voters in “news deserts” — who voted for him in higher-than-expected numbers. Politico’s analysis showed that in tight races with Hillary Clinton in states like Wisconsin, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, the decline in local media could have made a decisive difference.

This erosion has direct impact on the health of communities. “Understanding local assets and conditions are critical to creating better local communications infrastructure,” Ferrier said. “We are going beyond the AAM data and using digital ethnography techniques to provide deeper analysis at the county and ZIP code level of media sources, local assets and social media activity. “

Through these additional measures, updated data and added layers of detail, the Media Access Research Atlas builds on past research to provide researchers, city planners, nonprofit organizations and policy makers a more nuanced view of the factors that impact whether local residents can be informed – and engaged – in their local communities.

LINK: Media Access Locator Atlas

DATE TITLE NEWS COVERAGE: Article from Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication Website
July 12, 2014 Association of Alternative Newsmedia Annual Conference: Presentation on Media Deserts Project NEWS COVERAGE: Article from Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication Website
July 5, 2014 Haverhill Matters: “Media Deserts: Haverhill is Not Alone,” by Mike LaBonte NEWS COVERAGE: Article from Haverhill Matters
June 26, 2014 Street Fight Magazine: Despite Many New Local News Sites ‘Media Deserts” are a Stubborn Reality,” by Tom Grubisich NEWS COVERAGE: Article from Street Fight Magazine
May 21, 2014 New America Foundation: Big Ideas for America Conference; Panel on Media Innovation/Media Deserts NEWS COVERAGE: Article from Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication Website
May 21, 2014 New America Foundation: Big Ideas for America Conference; Panel on Media Innovation/Media Deserts NEWS COVERAGE: Article from Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication Website
May 14, 2014 University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus workshop on digital humanities initiatives and Media Deserts Project by Max Cole NEWS COVERAGE: Article from UMBC Insights
March 11, 2014 Watershed Media Project article on media desert project by Josh Wilson NEWS COVERAGE: Article from the Watershed Media Project Blog
October 13, 2013 Axiom News Article “Mapping the News and Information Ecosystem,” by Peggy Holman NEWS COVERAGE: Article from AxiomNews.com
September 3, 2013 NABJ Blog: “Journalism Professor Uses Crowdsourcing to Track Patch Layoffs” by Benet Wilson mentions work as part of Media Deserts Project NEWS COVERAGE: Post on NABJdigital blog
April 6-7, 2013 Broadcast Educators Association NEWS COVERAGE: Article from Elon University
January 7, 2012 Demonstration: Seattle Nourishing Networks; Worked with Seattle community to develop media innovations to solve community food access issues. NEWS COVERAGE: Article from Elon University
January 21, 2012 LocallyGrownNews.com: LocallyGrownNews.com Founder Initiates Media Deserts Research in Seattle NEWS COVERAGE: Article from Locally Grown News

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s