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Reproduced from UNC Hussman School of Journalism;  Note: States were grouped into regions according to the following classifications: Pacific: AK, CA, HI, OR, WA; Mountain: AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY; Midwest: IL, IN, MI, OH, WI, IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD; South: DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV, AL, KY, MS, TN, AR, LA, OK, TX; Mid-Atlantic: NJ, NY, PA; New England: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT; Chart: Axios Visuals

Every state in the South had at least one county without a newspaper, according to new research from Penelope Muse Abernathy at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Why it matters: The South tends to have the poorest states in the country. It's also home to the rise of many new coronavirus cases.

Details: According to the study, roughly 10% of Texas counties and 15% of Georgia counties no longer have a standalone newspaper.

  • "Several other states in the South, with many fewer counties — including Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee — had at least a half-dozen counties without newspapers."

What's next: The fate of two major newspaper chains could have big implications for the future of several newspapers in the South. Ken Doctor writes for Nieman Lab:

  • Tribune Publishing, which owns Orlando Sentinel and South Florida's Sun-Sentinel, on Tuesday "will reach the end of two 'standstill' periods. Tribune’s two major shareholders — Alden Global Capital, with 33% of the company’s shares, and Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, with 25% — had promised not to actively buy or sell any shares until June 30."
  • McClatchy, which owns the Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer, The State in South Carolina, The Sun Herald in Mississippi, and more, on Wednesday will receive final bids for its 30 newspapers, "as the country’s second-largest chain prepares to wind toward some exit from bankruptcy."

Go deeper

Lindsey Graham challenger Jamie Harrison on Jacob Blake: "This pain is not new"

Jaime Harrison, the Democrat running against Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, told Alexi McCammond for "Axios on HBO" that he's driven partly by the pain that Black people have long felt, but that now is getting more attention.

  • "This pain is not new," Harrison said. "That's why I'm working so hard, so that the next generation doesn't have to work hard like this."
Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker