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Rutgers report: Rich communities have access to more local news than poorer communities do

Rutgers School of Communication and Information

You might have heard: At least some Americans, including many African-Americans and Hispanics, feel underserved and that news doesn’t regularly or accurately cover their communities

But did you know: An analysis by Rutgers University of news sources in three New Jersey towns suggests richer communities have access to more local news sources, as well local news of higher quality. The study, which was supported by Democracy Fund, Dodge Foundation and Knight Foundation, examines local news sources in Morristown, New Brunswick and Newark, finding that Morristown sources produced 200 stories per 10,000 capita in the sample week. In New Brunswick, that number was 80, and 10 for Newark. Philip M. Napoli, Rutgers professor and the report’s lead author, says: “If journalism and access to information are pillars of self-government, then these findings suggest those tools of democracy are not being distributed evenly, and that should be cause for concern.”

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