Haverhill is not alone! In StreetFight Magazine Tom Grubisich writes about media deserts on a national scale. In Despite Many New Local News Sites, ‘Media Deserts’ Are a Stubborn Reality he interviews Dr. Michelle Ferrier, principle investigator for the Media Deserts Project at Ohio University's Scripps College of Communication.
Hundreds of digital community news sites have been launched in the meantime, but journalist and educator Dr. Michelle Ferrier says that millions of Americans have ended up in a “media desert.” She says this is especially true of those of low-income and low-education levels. Most community news — digital or print — she says, is focused on higher-end demographics.
Of course no discussion of possible solutions for local media deserts would be complete without some mention of the Banyan Project and Haverhill Matters. There is recognition that starting a totally new kind of cooperative is not so easy.
Cooperative models have yet to be fully realized, although residents in Haverhill, Mass., are working with the Banyan Project to launch Haverhill Matters, Banyan’s pilot site.
But many great new ideas were not easy to launch. Maybe Haverhill Matters is just one more of these, and hopefully the online local news and information co-op idea will help to nourish media deserts back to life, wherever they are.