The roots of the local press in Turkey is based on the first newspapers established in the Ottoman period (Erinç, 2007). Especially the regional newspapers established during the Tanzimat reform period are known for their significant contribution to the national independence war by their increasing publication capacity and regional influence (Gündüz, 2007). After the establishment of the Republic, the local press, which entered the process of re-formation with the effect of the political transformation in the country, shows a serious development, especially with the increasing number of local newspapers since the beginning of the multi-party period (Uçak and Erkal, 2019 ). However, the severe regression in the freedom of the press with the 1960 and 1980 coups resulted in the closure of most outlets in the local press or the narrowing of their publishing capacity (Erdem, 2007). Despite this, with the neo-liberal policies introduced after 1980, a new era began for the press in Turkey. During this period, the change in ownership and commercial structure of the media initiated a restructuring process in the local press, both financially and institutionally. The increase in the number of local press outlets in the 80s and 90s and the emergence of different publication/broadcast types such as local television and radio channels strengthened the influence of the local media (Demirkent, 2007). The rise of digitalization and online platforms starting from 2000s, not only impacted the mainstream media but also changed the media mediums and news production dynamics in local media.In this process, while the number of digital news platforms publishing/broadcasting on a local scale increased, many local outlets performing in written or audio-visual media began to publish/broadcast through digital platforms (Değirmencioğlu, 2011).

The foundation years of local media outlets contain important findings in terms of examining this transformation and development process that the local media has shown over the years. Data on the foundation years of local media outlets were obtained through the media databases and official websites that were examined during the desk-based research carried out as the first step of the project. These data obtained during the desk-based research were verified through surveys conducted with local media outlets during the field research. The findings obtained as a result of this process reveal the level of organizational development that the local media has shown, especially since the 90s. 

Among all publication/broadcast types, local newspapers stand out as local media outlets with “the oldest foundation years”. According to their foundation dates back to 1918, there are a total of 69 local newspapers that were founded between 1920 and 1970 and are still operating. It is seen that the number of founded local newspapers, which continued to increase regularly throughout the 80s, gathered speed especially after 1990. Research data shows that more than half of the local newspapers identified in the survey (52% of all local newspapers) were founded in the period between 1990-2020. While there were a total of 111 local newspapers founded between 1990-2000, the number of local newspapers founded between 2000-2010 is more than double the number of newspapers founded in the previous period (279 local newspapers in total). In this development, which continued with the foundation of 167 new local newspapers between 2010 and 2015, the significantly high number of local newspapers founded in the last five years (245 local newspapers in total) draws attention, especially since 2015.

On the other hand, the foundation years of the local magazines identified in the desk-based research, show that the magazines operating on a local scale started to develop since the early 1990s. While there were only 6 local magazines founded in the period from 1990 to 2005, the number of local magazines started to increase especially from 2005 onwards. While 10 more local magazines were founded between 2005 and 2010, it is seen that there has been a significant increase in the number of magazines founded in the last ten years (26 local journals in total).

The development of outlets operating in the audio-visual broadcasting in local media is in parallel with the years when private television and radio broadcasting began in Turkey. In this direction, it is seen that all local television and radio outlets identified in the research have been founded since 1990. According to the data, there are a total of 33 local television stations established between 1990 and 2000. Similarly, the majority of the local radio stations (82 radio channels in total) are found between 1990 and 2000. The fact that both the number of local television and radio stations  founded between 2000 and 2015  were quite low indicates that the development of local audio-visual broadcasting came to a standstill in this period. However, according to the data, this standstill starts to rise again with the increase in local television (13 outlets in total) and radio channels (12 outlets in total) established in the last five years as of 2015.

The founding years of the first digital news platforms operating on a local scale coincide with the early 2000s, when internet usage became widespread in Turkey. According to the data, there were 59 local digital news platforms founded between 2000 and 2004, while the number of platforms founded between 2005 and 2009 increased to a total of 127 outlets. The number of local digital platforms, which continued to increase between 2010 and 2015 (total of 214 outlets), stands out among the research findings, where there has been a sudden increase since 2015 (total of 362 outlets).