CCC Local News Data Initiative

This project utilizes the UNC News Deserts Dataset to identify every operational and non-operational local news outlet in the U.S., the Computational Communication Co-operative is actively developing a system to build a comprehensive archive of every local news outlet in the nation. Interested scholars are encouraged to reach out via email at


Few attempts have been made towards building a local news database which contains publishing data at the article level. Of these attempts, none have attempted to build a comprehensive, up-to-date archive of these outlets. We hope to archive 9000+ state and local level newspapers registered with the various regional, state, and national press associations in a manner that allows for the timely and robust collection of future publications by these outlets.


At present, we are testing our methods by collecting a sample of local news outlets. In late 2023, we hope to begin scaling our system to include all outlets who publish online. In Spring 2023, we will begin collecting outlets who are archived online but do not publish onine. This will cover the majority of presently active local news outlets in the U.S.. At this time, we hope to release our data and open the doors towards possible open-source collaboration with other interested researchers.


This project is funded by the Duke University Democracy Fund and was developed in response to the call for research proposals to improve the Journalism Ecosystem Model at the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy

Works Cited

Abernathy, P. M. (2020). NEWS DESERTS AND GHOST NEWSPAPERS: WILL LOCAL NEWS SURVIVE? University of North Carolina Press.

Horne, B. D., Gruppi, M., Joseph, K., Green, J., Wihbey, J. P., & Adalı, S. (2022). NELA-Local: A Dataset of U.S. Local News Articles for the Study of County-level News Ecosystems (arXiv:2203.08600). arXiv.