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Hundreds of Hyperpartisan Sites Are Masquerading as Local News

The growth of partisan media masquerading as state and local reporting is a troubling trend we’ve seen emerge amid the financial declines of local news organizations. But what do these outlets mean for journalism in American communities? NiemanLab: Using previous research and news reports as a guide, we’ve mapped the locations of more than 400 partisan media outlets — often funded and operated by government officials, political candidates, PACs, and political party operatives — and found, somewhat unsurprisingly, that these outlets are emerging most often in swing states, raising a concern about the ability of such organizations to fill community information needs while prioritizing the electoral value of an audience. We found that while left-leaning sites prioritize statewide reporting, right-leaning sites are more focused on local reporting, suggesting different strategies for engaging with targeted audiences and indicating the potential for these sites to exacerbate polarization in local communities.

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