Beyond the Headlines Superior

Communicating in a News Desert

Wisconsin Point in Superior by Bob Jauch

News Desert – “a community . . . with limited access to the sort of credible and comprehensive news and information that feeds democracy at the grassroots level.” (Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media, UNC School of Journalism)

Research tells us that local media often help bring communities together and strengthen them. It also shows that communities that have lost their local news sources experience diminished civic engagement.

The need for quality and timely coverage -- especially in emergency situations and for gaining insight into issues that face the community -- is critical. The majority of the Twin Ports media focus on the more populous Duluth, MN audience. With few news sources devoted to Superior and Douglas County in Wisconsin, and a general decline in small-town dailies and weeklies, the community is considered by media researchers as a “news desert” that can result in incomplete or untimely information.

A local steering committee made up of community members and Twin Ports media ask Superior residents to consider how they gain the knowledge they need to navigate local issues.

We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.