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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, based at the Ryerson University School of Journalism, explores the factors that influence local news reporting, and examines how the content, the geographic patterns of news coverage, and the amount of local news shape what happens in the Greater Toronto Area.

The project’s growing database allows researchers to create maps that illustrate the spatial reach of local reporting by mainstream and ethnic news organizations. The maps, combined with other data, are used to investigate the role and impact of local news. Data for the Toronto Star, four ethnic newspapers and one online local news site are currently available. For more information, contact April(dot)lindgren(at)ryerson(dot)ca