Project Timeline

Date Event Notes
April 2018 Media Access Research Atlas Interactive, searchable map allows users to search state, county and ZIP code-level media assets. 
May 2016 Duke University Grant for $25,000 Fuels Media Deserts Maps Received $25,000 grant through Duke University to complete state-level maps of media deserts.
December 2014 Ohio University Geography Involvement Met with faculty from geography to discuss media deserts project and role of geography and GIS faculty in development. Working with Dr. Gaurav Sinha and students in geospatial analysis class to develop mapping analysis.
Spring 2015 Association for Alternative Newsweeklies Created publication audit survey.
November 2014 Tiffany Shakelford, Executive Director, Association for Alternative Newsweeklies Created agreement with Association for Alternative Newsweeklies to conduct member audit for Media Deserts Project layer to include community and alternative news publications. Audit work to be conducted Spring-Summer 2015.
October 2014 Council on Foundations Workshop on Media Deserts Project PRESENTATION: Conducting workshop with Journalism That Matters Executive Director Peggy Holman on Media Deserts Project and community engagement initiatives in Cleveland, OH.
Summer 2014 Letter from Elon University releasing all claim to intellectual property associated with the Media Deserts Project.
July 2014 Ohio University Dr. Michelle Ferrier applies for Knight Prototype Fund Grant for $35,000. Grant not funded.
July 12, 2014 Association of Alternative Newsmedia Annual Conference: Presentation on Media Deserts Project NEWS COVERAGE: PROGRAM:
July 5, 2014 Haverhill Matters: “Media Deserts: Haverhill is Not Alone,” by Mike LaBonte NEWS COVERAGE:
June 26, 2014 Street Fight Magazine: Despite Many New Local News Sites ‘Media Deserts” are a Stubborn Reality,” by Tom Grubisich NEWS COVERAGE:
May 21, 2014 New America Foundation: Big Ideas for America Conference; Panel on Media Innovation/Media Deserts
May 14, 2014 University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus workshop on digital humanities initiatives and Media Deserts Project by Max Cole NEWS COVERAGE:
March 11, 2014 Watershed Media Project article on media desert project by Josh Wilson NEWS COVERAGE:
March 1, 2014 AEJMC Midwinter Conference: Presented “The Media Deserts Project: Monitoring Community News and Information Needs.” PAPER: “The Media Deserts Project: Monitoring Community News and Information Needs Using Geographic Information System Technologies.”
Spring 2014 Ithaca College: Major interface overhaul to handle rendering of large data sets and streamline user-facing experience ( Front page altered to pinpoint data to speed loading time. Dr. John Barr joins the Media Desert Project team for Ithaca College.
February 25, 2014 Ohio University/Alliance for Audited Media licensing agreement Letter from Eleanor Overton, Alliance for Audited Media outlines usage of AAM data in Media Deserts Project.
January 2014 ONE-PAGER: Created one page project summary for distribution to researchers and journalists.
October 13, 2013 Axiom News Article “Mapping the News and Information Ecosystem,” by Peggy Holman NEWS COVERAGE:
September 3, 2013 NABJ Blog: “Journalism Professor Uses Crowdsourcing to Track Patch Layoffs” by Benet Wilson mentions work as part of Media Deserts Project
Fall 2013 AOL Patch WIKI/DATABASE: Developed crowdsourced wiki of AOL Patch layoffs and database of ZIP code reach of 800+ AOL Patch sites for Media Deserts Project hyperlocal online news layer.
Fall 2013 Alliance for Audited Media (ABC) Dr. Michelle Ferrier worked with AAM to negotiate licensing/usage agreement for display of circulation data from daily newspaper dataset.
August 21, 2013 Blog Post: Shakeups at AOL’s Patch Alter Hyperlocal News Landscape URL:
August 16, 2013 Purchased URLs for and WEBSITE: Created project website with background data and link to national media deserts map.
August 1, 2013 Move to Ohio University Moved to Ohio University with new position.
Summer 2013 Ithaca College: NATIONAL PROTOTYPE: Dr. Ali Erkan works with Ithaca College students to create first national daily newspaper map []; create interface to display ZIP code level circulation and demographic data and project information.
July 16, 2013 Elon University Purchased dataset of daily newspaper circulation from AAM.
Summer 2013 Elon University Summer Research Grant $10,000 summer stipend for cleaning, acquiring data sets; Purchased dataset of all daily newspapers in the United States.
Spring 2013 Elon University students create hyperlocal online news wiki for layer on Media Deserts Project PROJECT WIKI:
April 2013 Elon University Dr. Michelle Ferrier conducted North Carolina survey of residents perceptions about media coverage as qualitative data for Media Deserts Project.
April 16, 2013 Journalism That Matters, Denver: Convened session on media corps concept for serving underserved/ underrepresented communities SESSION NOTES:
April 16, 2013 Journalism That Matters, Denver: Convened session on metrics for measuring media deserts SESSION NOTES:
April 6-7, 2013 Broadcast Educators Association NEWS COVERAGE:
April 6-7, 2013 National Conference on Media Reform: Livestream conversation regarding Media Deserts with Debbie Galant of NJ News Commons VIDEO: COVERAGE:
December 13, 2012 Ithaca College: Development of National Media Deserts Map Began working with Dr. Ali Erkan to plan national map. Two Ithaca students work on interface design.
October 2012 Elon University: Applied for Summer Fellowship Research Funding Received $10,000 summer fellowship award for data and development of national map prototype.
July 2012 Federal Communications Commission: Communication Policy Research Network CONTRIBUTOR: Federal Communications Commission “Community Information Needs Critical Literature Review” Response to FCC RFQ submitted by the Communication Policy Research Network, headed by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Media Deserts Project was part of second stage of research for implementation of the report. Second phase was not funded by FCC.
June 21, 2012 Knight News Challenge Submission on Media Deserts Project LINK TO CONCEPT:
Spring 2012 Elon University collaboration with Dr. Ryan Kirk, Department of History and Geography PROTOTYPE: Worked with Dr. Ryan Kirk and geography students to create first North Carolina prototype of the media deserts concept using GIS data. Mapped daily newspapers and circulation for the state.
March 19, 2012 Blog Post: The Media Deserts Project, part of the Media Deserts/News Oasis Project BLOG POST:
January 7, 2012 Demonstration: Seattle Nourishing Networks; Worked with Seattle community to develop media innovations to solve community food access issues. NEWS COVERAGE:
January 21, 2012 Founder Initiates Media Deserts Research in Seattle NEWS COVERAGE:,28465
December 15, 2011 Elon University: Began collaboration with Dr. Ryan Kirk, Department of History and Geography Started data collection from Audit Bureau of Circulation (now Alliance for Audited Media) for Spring 2012 Geography class taught by Kirk. Students will use GIS software to model North Carolina daily newspaper circulation from 2007 to 2010/11 using 2000 census data at the ZIP code level.
Fall 2011 Journalism That Matters Began discussions of implementation of Media Deserts Project through engaged community conversations/action around media entrepreneurship initiatives.
Fall 2011 New America Foundation Began conversations with New America Foundation re: Media Deserts Project for allied researchers in broadcast and broadband realms.
October 2011 Elon University: Applied for Summer Fellowship Funding for Media Deserts Project Project was not funded in 2011.
April 29-30, 2011 National Science Foundation, Interdisciplinary Computing Workshop in Tucson, AZ. Met Dr. Ali Erkan, Ithaca College along with other scholars looking at the intersection of journalism and technology.
March 2011 USDA Food Access Locator Map Spoke to researchers who developed Food Environment Atlas at USDA. Economic Research Service.
August 2010 DATS: Design, Art and Technology Symposium, Winston-Salem, NC WORKSHOP: “News as Food: A Metaphor for Examining Community News and Information”
August 2010 NC: Winston-Salem Foundation RFP: Media Environmental Scan. Implementation stage of Media Deserts Project work is to work directly with community foundations and community stakeholders on media innovations.
January 10, 2010 Blog Post: Reflections on Slow News Movement at JTM-PNW. URL: examining “news as food” and “slow news” during open session I hosted at Journalism that Matters, Pacific Northwest

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