• The Local News Research Project combines content analysis and digital mapping to explore issues related to local news. The project’s news poverty research examines local coverage in Canadian communities at a time when print and broadcast outlets are scaling back, consolidating or closing, and many online news sites are struggling to stay afloat. Project initiatives include The Local News Map, a study of how local media covered the 2015 federal election, and research on local news reporting on disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Other research has examined the role of ethnic media in shaping newcomers’ sense of place and portrayals of diversity in ethnic newspapers published in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information, contact us.

  • The Local News Map is a crowd-sourced tool that tracks what is happening to local newspapers, broadcast outlets and online news sites in communities across Canada. It displays data going back to 2008, which marked the beginning of a deep recession and a turning point for many previously profitable local news organizations. The map is a collaborative project undertaken by Professor April Lindgren, lead investigator for the Local News Research Project at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism, and Associate Professor Jon Corbett, who leads the University of British Columbia’s SpICE Lab (Spatial Information for Community Mapping). A summary of the latest map data is available here.

  • Explore the geography of local news reporting in Toronto and the subject matter of that coverage using interactive maps created by The Local News Research Project. Map users can examine how often their neighbourhood or ward appears in the news and look at a bar graph that breaks down stories by topics such as police/crime, transit and education. More generally, you can examine how the geographic patterns of news coverage vary by topic: The map showing the places mentioned in local arts and entertainment stories and photos, for instance, looks different from the map of crime coverage. Click here or on the adjacent map to explore how the Toronto Star and the online news site OpenFile.ca covered local news in Toronto.

Thunder Bay: Local news is important for conversations on reconciliation

By APRIL LINDGREN The Ontario city of Thunder Bay is in the headlines these days for all the wrong reasons. Canada’s highest rates of murder and violent crime. The highest number of hate crimes per capita. Systemic racism embedded in shoddy police investigations. The deaths — many unexplained — of Indigenous students who come to the city for education not available in their remote northern communities…

How Ottawa should spend its $50 million to support local news

March 26, 2018 By APRIL LINDGREN, Ryerson University Who holds officials accountable when cities like Thunder Bay, Ont., rife with political and racial tensions, have no local reporters? (Shutterstock)   There’s $50 million in federal government money on the table in Canada to support local journalism in the country’s under-served …

Instead of mourning local news, try paying for it

By APRIL LINDGREN, Ryerson University Canadians often mourn the loss of their local newspaper. But there’s a disconnect, because few Canadians actually pay for a local news subscription. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)   Expressions of shock, concern and loss were widespread recently after Postmedia Network Canada Corp. and Torstar Corp. …

The Local News Research Project combines content analysis and digital mapping to explore issues related to local news. The project’s news poverty research examines local coverage in Canadian communities at a time when print and broadcast outlets are scaling back, consolidating or closing, and many online news sites are struggling to stay afloat. Project initiatives include The Local News Map, a study of how local media covered the 2015 federal election, and research on local news reporting on disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Other research has examined the role of ethnic media in shaping newcomers’ sense of place and portrayals of diversity in ethnic newspapers published in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information, contact us.

The Local News Map is a crowd-sourced tool that tracks what is happening to local newspapers, broadcast outlets and online news sites in communities across Canada. It displays data going back to 2008, which marked the beginning of a deep recession and a turning point for many previously profitable local news organizations. The map is a collaborative project undertaken by Professor April Lindgren, lead investigator for the Local News Research Project at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism, and Associate Professor Jon Corbett, who leads the University of British Columbia’s SpICE Lab (Spatial Information for Community Mapping). A summary of the latest map data is available here.

Explore the geography of local news reporting in Toronto and the subject matter of that coverage using interactive maps created by The Local News Research Project. Map users can examine how often their neighbourhood or ward appears in the news and look at a bar graph that breaks down stories by topics such as police/crime, transit and education. More generally, you can examine how the geographic patterns of news coverage vary by topic: The map showing the places mentioned in local arts and entertainment stories and photos, for instance, looks different from the map of crime coverage. Click here or on the adjacent map to explore how the Toronto Star and the online news site OpenFile.ca covered local news in Toronto.

Want to understand local news? Make a map

By SAHAR FATIMA Critics have suggested that scholars seeking to advance journalism studies must adopt a more multidisciplinary approach to research, one that looks beyond the strict confines of sociology, history, language studies, political science or cultural analysis. In this article, April Lindgren and Christina Wong argue that the geography …

The Local News Research Project is in the news

Openfile.ca: Dec. 29, 2011. What can an ethnocultural newspaper tell us about our city? Interview with April Lindgren about research on local news content in ethnic news media. http://toronto.openfile.ca/toronto/text/what-can-ethnocultural-newspaper-tell-us-about-our-city The Link, Radio Canada International: Dec. 14, 2011. Interview with April Lindgren about research on local news content in ethnic news …