The majority of the print media in Turkey (91.3%) consists of media outlets operating locally. (TÜİK, 2019) . As the main implementers of communication, information provision and freedom of expression at the local level, these media organizations also play a key role in in the monitoring of democracy and human rights at the local context. (Gezgin 2007; Girgin, 2007). The local press, which provides the communication between the local authorities and the public (Gureli, 2007), undertakes a two-way monitoring function by ensuring that the public services are properly announced to the public and the demands of the local citizens are conveyed to the public authorities (Arslan & Arslan, 2016). In this respect, the local press, which conveys the political, economic, cultural and social developments specific to that city/region to both the authorities and the governed, actually functions as a mirror reflecting the social dynamics in the local area (Gezgin, 2007).

This mission of the local media in terms of reflecting the social dynamics can be observed in the transformation and development process it has shown under the changing political and economic conditions in the country over the years. The origin of the local press in Turkey dates back to the first provincial newspapers established during the Tanzimat period (Erinç, 2007). These newspapers, which gained vital importance in terms of the continuation of the national struggle during the War of Independence, were restructured with the establishment of the republic and served as a bridge transferring the political, economic and social revolutions of the period to the local citizens (Gündüz, 2007). Especially since the beginning of the multi-party period, the development of the local press in terms of both the number of outlets and its publication capacity (Uçak and Erkal, 2019) was interrupted by the increasing political pressure on the press after the 1960 and 1980 coups (Erdem, 2007) . However, the commercialization of the media sector, with the effect of the re-democratization process and the rise of liberal economic policies after 1980, initiated both an institutional and financial transformation in the local press (Uçak and Erkal, 2019 ). With the new financial actors entering the sector and changing media ownership,  the publication capacity and regional dominance of local media outlets became stronger in the 80s and 90s. Moreover,  local television channels and radio stations, which were founded for the first time in these years, further expanded the sphere of influence of the local media (Demirkent, 2007). As such in the mainstream media, new communication technologies and online platforms that have entered our lives since the beginning of the 2000s have also led to a radical change in mediums of publication and news production dynamics in the local media (Gürcan & Bekiroğlu, 2007) . In this process, while many local outlets publishing and broadcasting locally through printed or audio-visual channels switched to digital publishing through their websites, new digital news platforms publishing on a local scale began to emerge (Değirmencioğlu, 2011). Today, local media outlets that reach the publishing capacity including both printed, audio-visual and digital channels have an important place in the media sector in terms of news production, number of outlets and sphere of influence (Travel 2007; Değirmencioğlu, 2011; TUIK, 2019) .

Despite its wide scope within the sector and its critical importance in terms of local democracy, the problems of the local media are often overshadowed by the problems experienced in the national and alternative media in the agenda on freedom of the press. However, recently published researches (IPI,2019) reveal a drastic decline in the number of local media outlets associated with increasing political and economic pressures. Decline in the national economic conditions and the financial contraction in the media sector become the main obstacles to corporate sustainability in local media. (IPI,2019; Arslan and Arslan,2016). Due to the economic conditions, which have become more aggravated by the effect of the pandemic, many local outlets decide to reduce their publication capacity or close down completely due to budgetary insufficiency or financial problems (IPI, 2021) . On the other hand, increasing political pressure on the media through license cancellations, fines and closure sanctions threatens the sustainability of local media outlets, both economically and editorially (IPI, 2021) .

In addition to these, the local media has many rooted structural problems that have been going on for years. The fact that local media outlets have more limited financial resources compared to national scale media outlets negatively affects the development of local media (Gezgin, 2007). The public advertisement revenues of local media outlets and the limited and irregular financial resources based on the circulation revenue obtained from the printed publications cause local outlets to be limited in terms of technical equipment, printing & distribution and employment (Dalgalıdere & Çelik, 2014). In particular, the insufficient number of employee and the difficulties experienced in the employment of qualified employee reduce the capacity of local publication/broadcast in terms of scope, content and accessibility (Gezgin, 2007; Nalcıoğlu, 2007). Under these difficult conditions, most of the journalists working in the local media are faced with heavy working conditions such as unemployment, insufficient wages, lack of contracts and social security, disproportionate overtime and many other technical and professional impossibilities. (MEDAR, 2020 ; IPI, 2019)

Despite these problems, there is no comprehensive due diligence study that reveals the current conditions of the local media in Turkey. In this respect, the data on demographic characteristics of local media in Turkey such as the number of media outlets, publication channels, types, periods and contents, or the number of journalists working locally, remains limited. Based on this shortcoming, in the Local Media Database Research project, we conducted a situation analysis and need assessment research examining the current conditions of local media in Turkey. 

In this study, which constitutes the first census research focusing on local media in Turkey, we aimed to identify all local outlets operating in 81 provinces and the basic demographical data of these outlets. Within the scope of the project, which was carried out for 8 months between July 2020 and February 2021, a mixed research methodology consisting of two stages was applied. At the first stage, all currently existing media databases and press lists were examined, and provincial-based special web searches were carried out in order to identify the existing outlets that serve as a reference for the local media space in Turkey. As a result of this detailed desk-based research, it was detected that there were 3240 local outlets operating in the local media. In the second phase of the research, a comprehensive field research was carried out to verify the data obtained during the desk-based research and to collect the data that could not be reached during the desk-based research, and a survey was conducted with 1222 local media outlets. In line with the analysis of the data obtained within the scope of the project, the "Local Media Database Research Report" was created, which reveals the current situation and demographic profilization of the local media outlets  in Turkey.With this work we carry out, we aim to increase the visibility of the local media’s struggle for survival  and the obstacles to freedom of the press at the local context.