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The following figures come from the 2010 North Carolina Newspaper Directory, and the statistics reflect ONLY the membership of the NCPA, to which the vast majority of NC papers belong; but it must be stated that there are many newspapers (approx. 20), which do NOT belong to the NCPA, and thus go uncounted.

In the Tar Heel State where I teach, North Carolina’s statistics on community journalism mirror the national figures:

173 out of the 179 newspapers, or 97 percent, are community newspapers by my definition.

The breakdown goes like this:

• 135 weeklies, semi-and tri-weeklies all with circulations well under 50k. (75 percent of the state’s papers are weeklies)

• 44 dailies, including:

• 2 “major metros,” with circulations of 100,000 or more (the Charlotte Observer, 220,000; and the Raleigh News & Observer, 180,000)

• 4 “big regional dailies,” with circulations of 50k-99,999, (which still pay considerable amount of attention to local news, even if “local” is 10 to 30 counties): Greensboro News and Record, 96k; the Fayetteville Observer,  61k; the Wilmington Star-News,  50k; and the Winston-Salem Journal, 75k.

• 38 “community dailies,” with circulations of under 50,000 (By these standards, 86 percent of the state’s dailies are “small.”


Of the 179 newspapers belonging to the NCPA, 175 have Web sites, of which 171 (or 98 percent) belong to “small” newspapers.


• DAILIES: Only 3 of the state’s 44 daily newspapers are independently and locally owned. (The Fayetteville Observer, the Goldsboro News-Argus and the Wilson Daily Times). 93 percent of the state’s dailies are chain-owned.

• WEEKLIES: Of the state’s 135 weeklies, 72 are still family or independently owned. 53 percent are still in local hands — a fairly remarkable figure these days.

Updated, March 2011. Figures obtained from the NCPA Directory for 2010

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