Deconstructing the News Desert

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While the term “news desert” effectively conveys the extent of the local news crisis, there is no widespread agreement among journalists and researchers—let alone funders, policy makers, and the public—about how to define and measure one. When dealing with a crisis as urgent as the one currently facing local news, methodological questions might seem to be beyond the point. But any solutions to the problem of news deserts will be predicated on how we understand them.

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