Newspaper ownership by large investment groups is creating even more media deserts and raising questions about the future of local news

You might have heard: Despite many new local news sites, “media deserts” created by the closure of local newspapers are still a stubborn reality

But did you know: According to a new report from the UNC School of Media and Journalism’s Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media, newspaper ownership by large investment groups is leaving behind media deserts and raising questions about the vitality of community journalism. Based on data from 2004 to 2016 on more than 9,500 local newspapers, the report found the newspapers managed by these large investment groups tend to be in “economically struggling small and mid-sized communities,” where the newspaper is the primary source of local news. The report also finds that large investment groups tend to have a formula in managing the newspapers they acquire: “Aggressive cost cutting paired with financial restructuring.”