What if a tree fell in the forest and there was no newspaper to report it? | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What if a tree fell in the forest and there was no newspaper to report it?

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2017 at 1:55 PM

click to enlarge newsdeserts-1536x1024.png

Heard of food deserts — parts of town where there's no fresh food for sale? What about news deserts — places where no one is covering local news?

Columbia Journalism Review has endeavored to evaluate by mapping "news deserts."

The image at top illustrates the work. But you can go to the link and look more closely at the specifics of the mapping. Most of Arkansas has but one daily newspaper per county. A number of counties have none.

Clearly, the data doesn't include daily on-line news sources. Pulaski County, for example, has only one daily newspaper. But four TV stations, public radio, two weekly newspapers and others offer digital reporting, some of it robust, not to mention often more timely than the dead-tree format. (But don't get me wrong. I'm still a dedicated fan of print newspapers, a superior format in my 66-year-old view.)

Quick take on the map: The so-called "red" states aren't as red when it comes to newspaper coverage as the "blue" states.

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