A quarter of all U.S. newspapers have died in 15 years, a new UNC news deserts study found

The relentless spread of news deserts was speeding up even before the coronavirus incapacitated local economies, and since then the rate has accelerated some more.

At the same time, the digital news cavalry long and widely expected to come riding to the rescue of community journalism has decelerated to a surprising halt.

These are the main findings of “News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers: Will Local News Survive?,” a new report published Wednesday by Penelope Muse Abernathy and her research program at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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