May 25, 2022

Report: “As Local News Outlets Shutter, Rural America Suffers Most”

From Stateline:

News deserts — communities with limited access to credible and comprehensive news — are especially prevalent in rural America. More than 500 of the 1,800 newspapers that have closed or merged since 2004 were in rural communities, according to a 2018 report, “The Expanding News Desert,” written by Abernathy for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media.

Rural newspapers have been buffeted by the same headwinds facing newspapers in all areas. More Americans are consuming news digitally, typically turning to news aggregation sites and social media for information, instead of getting it from local media outlets.

Revenue from classified and other print ads has declined precipitously as advertisers have moved online to accommodate those changing habits

But the people with the least access to local news are rural residents, who are typically poorer and less educated than the average American.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article/View Interactive Chart (approx. 1800 words)

See Also: Report: “Public Libraries May Turn The Page For Colorado City’s News Desert” (September 19, 2019)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.