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2022 INN Index Fact Sheet: State and Regional News

By Michele McLellan, Jesse Holcomb and Emily Roseman

Oct. 5, 2022

Definition: State news outlets primarily focus on government policy, politics or topics of public interest such as health or the environment within a single state. Regional news outlets focus on a geographic area larger than a single state such as a cluster of several Midwest states or a region that encompasses parts of more than one state. There are 59 state and 24 regional organizations in this study, making up 21% and 8% of the nonprofit news field in terms of number of outlets, respectively.

The Landscape

State and regional outlets have grown steadily in number for more than a decade. Taken together, they now provide coverage of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. For the most part they are spread evenly across five major regions of the United States.

Growth: State and regional news outlets began to fill significant gaps in news and information about politics and government policy in the wake of severe cutbacks by legacy news media more than a decade ago. There were fewer than a dozen of these nonprofit organizations when the 2008 recession hit. Within the next two years, 19 state and regional outlets in this study launched. State and regional outlets experienced another growth spurt starting in 2015, with a total of 45 startups over seven years. Three more outlets launched in 2021.

Mission & Impact: Nearly half of state and regional outlets primarily focus on in-depth, investigative reporting, with explanatory journalism emerging as another common focus. State and regional publishers cite revealing or preventing corruption or abuse of power, prompting governmental or institutional action, and building knowledge of a complicated issue as their top impact goals.


As a group, these outlets have enjoyed a balanced revenue mix. However, like the rest of the field, they struggled to maintain earned revenue such as advertising and sponsorship during the COVID-19 crisis, and their share of total revenue derived from foundations appears to have increased in 2021.


Three in 10 employees are people of color in this group, significantly lower than among local and national/global outlets.

Audience & Distribution

State and regional outlets are more likely than the rest of the field to target rural audiences. Four in 10 say they do so and these account for half of the total of 66 nonprofits of any geographic scope that target rural communities. Four in 10 state and regional outlets also say elected officials and policy makers are a key target audience.

More Nonprofit News Fact Sheets

2022 INN Index Fact Sheet: Local News

The local sector of nonprofit news is growing rapidly, with an average of nearly one launch per month for each of the past three years.

2022 INN Index Fact Sheet: National and Global News

National and global organizations make up the most established and prominent group in nonprofit news.

2022 INN Index Fact Sheet: News for Communities of Color

Organizations that serve communities of color made up one-quarter of nonprofit news outlets, a share of the total field that has grown over time.

INN Index 2022 Full Report

Learn what drives nonprofit news, how it’s funded, who it serves, and how we can continue expanding sources of high-quality information for the public.

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