Author of Groundbreaking Local News Crisis Research, Penelope Muse Abernathy, Named as the 2019 Welles Memorial Prize Winner

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The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business at the Columbia Journalism School today awarded Penelope (Penny) Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina, the 2019 Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize, for her unparalleled and widely-cited research “The Expanding News Desert(link is external).” 

“We’re excited to recognize Penny, who is a well-respected journalism professional and senior media business executive,” said Raju Narisetti, director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship. “Her singular body of research on the state of local news as well as her studies on potential business models that could sustain future local news endeavors has driven real-world change and conversations among foundations, national news outlets, policy makers and the tech industry in America.”

Muse Abernathy’s research is being honored by the Knight-Bagehot Advisory Board for its impact on the journalism profession, and its role in raising the alarm and prompting an industry-wide call-to-action about the local news crisis. The Welles Prize is given annually to an alum of the Knight Bagehot Fellowship, now in its 44th year. Muse Abernathy is a graduate of the Fellowship from 1985.

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