With local journalism in crisis, Northwestern University has assembled a team of experts in digital innovation, audience understanding and business strategy. The goal: reinvent the relationship between news organizations and audiences to elevate enterprises that empower citizens.
Changing business models and shrinking coverage
Local news coverage across America is shrinking.
Without robust local news, citizens will not have the information they need for their everyday lives about their community’s government institutions, schools, businesses and neighbors.
The business model that has supported local news reporting in cities across the United States has been greatly disrupted.
Steep revenue losses have led to cuts that hinder local news outlets’ ability to provide information about local government, civic institutions, businesses, schools and residents. Northwestern and Medill are uniquely positioned for this project because of our nationally recognized, leading-edge data mining, research and development expertise.
The crisis in journalism has turned into a crisis of democracy... The reporter shortage means residents don’t have the information to make decisions for their families or to hold institutions accountable.Steve Waldman, President, Report for America
Medill Spiegel Research Center
The Medill Spiegel Research Center, a leader in consumer and audience-based research on customer engagement that drives financial outcomes, has analyzed anonymous data about reader engagement and subscription behaviors for more than 20 news outlets and has developed the pioneering Medill Subscriber Engagement Index.
The Northwestern Knight Lab, a leader in developing digital storytelling tools and platforms, will use data analysis from the Local News initiative to create new products, tools and approaches to strengthen local news organizations and better serve their audiences.