May 16, 2022

Journal Article: “Buying the News: A Quantitative Study of the Effects of Corporate Acquisition on Local News”

The article linked below was recently published by New Media and Society.


Buying the News: A Quantitative Study of the Effects of Corporate Acquisition on Local News


Benjamin LeBrun
McGill University

Kaitlyn Todd
Andrew Piper


New Media and Society
First Published March 24, 2022

DOI: 10.1177/14614448221079030


Local newspapers are increasingly subject to predatory corporate acquisition—corporate takeovers in which media conglomerates purchase publications in financially precarious states, drastically cut staff, and in certain cases consolidate newsroom operations. We investigate how this practice alters the information environment of 31 corporate-owned local newspapers across over 130,000 articles. Formalizing local information across three dimensions, we find (a) that corporate acquisition is associated with a reduction in the volume of local content produced, (b) that the coverage of local places following acquisition is significantly more concentrated than prior to acquisition, and (c) that articles produced to be shared across regional hubs of corporate-owned publications are significantly less local—and discursively more national—than articles produced for a single local market. Our findings identify reductions in newsroom resources and regional hubs of publications as detrimental to the information environment of local communities.

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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.