Michelle Ferrier presents media deserts, hyperlocal online news research

The associate professor in communications presented April 6-7 at both the National Conference on Media Reform in Denver and the Broadcast Education Association conference in Las Vegas.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier, associate professor, School of Communications, Elon University, NC.
Ferrier is building a national model of the media deserts project with additional layers for hyperlocal online news sites.

Her research examined the evolving media ecosystem and the role of journalism innovations such as hyperlocal online news sites in filling community news and information needs. Ferrier presented as part of the panel, “Cities Without News: Fighting Information Inequality in America’s News Deserts,” at NCMR. She shared the results of an analysis of North Carolina newspapers using geographic information systems and how such data visualizations help tell the story of the erosion of fresh news and information in the United States.

At BEA, Ferrier discussed the ownership of hyperlocal online news sites in “Is Everyone Showing Up Online?” While these news sites are filling in the gaps left behind by a receding legacy media, their founders are predominantly Caucasian in makeup, Ferrier found. Ferrier is conducting additional research using her media deserts model, to determine if the online sites are cannibalizing existing media markets or forging new ones.

The NCMR presentation can be found online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK9OqINpyys