Research Projects

Latest research: ‘News Deserts’ in the UK

The CJP has launched its first research project: exploring the rise of ‘news deserts’ in the UK.

Across the world are areas in which local news coverage has declined, or disappeared altogether, leaving communities without information crucial to healthy community and democracy.

This is due to a number of economic factors: a local newspaper or news distributor may have been closed, or a paper may have been ‘hollowed out’ (when journalists are laid off or rationalised into more remote production units.) This has worsened significantly during the pandemic.

The objectives of the project are:

  1. To determine what the information needs of people in local news deserts are.
  2. To gather empirical evidence on where and what local news has disappeared.
  3. To find out how people are informing themselves in the absence of professionally produced news.
  4. To assess the impact of the lack of professionally produced news on democratic engagement and participation.

This project, which started in the autumn of 2021, will produce an action-focused report; it’s important to the CJP that this will inform concrete changes in legislation, industry and culture of the sector, rather than being a purely academic exercise.

Leading the project is our research associate Dr. Steven Barclay of City, University of London, undertaking a combination of on the ground research in some communities and remote research in others. We aim to report our findings in Spring 2022.

%d bloggers like this: