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A local newspaper box after Hurricane Michael. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook wants to deliver more local news, but there aren't enough local news outlets across the U.S. to do so, according to research the platform released Monday morning in conjunction with four academic researchers.

Why it matters: Facebook and rival Google have shouldered blame for creating local news deserts by upending the business models of small, local newspapers. Now, the tech giant wants to invest heavily to reverse that trend in order to provide users with the local news they crave.

By the numbers: 1 in 3 users in the U.S. live in places where Facebook cannot find enough local news on Facebook to launch "Today In," its local news section, which has been rolled out in 40 cities across the country so far.

  • In the last 28 days, there has not been a single day when Facebook has been able to find five or more recent local news articles directly related to the impacted towns.
  • Facebook says this problem is consistent across regions: 35% of users in the Midwest, Northeast, and South — and 26% in the West — live in places where they can't find much local news in their feeds.

Details: Facebook has partnered with four leading academics in news research, providing them with the raw data set to create solutions to solve the crisis.

  • One of the academics Facebook is partnering with is Penny Abernathy, the UNC School of Media and Journalism's Knight chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics. She is the author of the original report that the Facebook research is modeled after.

Flashback: Anne Kornblut, Facebook's director of new initiatives, told Axios last month, "When we ask our users about what they want to see on Facebook, local news is their top pick. That's because Facebook as a platform is focused on community and community is local."

The bottom line: Facebook is investing heavily to try to fix this problem, but the problem is bigger than the platform.

  • It's poured millions of dollars into local "Accelerator" programs that help local outlets find long-term business solutions, even if they have nothing to do with Facebook. And it'll host a conference in Denver tomorrow with the Knight Foundation to bring local news companies together to find solutions.

Go deeper: Facebook's local news conundrum

Go deeper

Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."