Media and Communication

United States

Alliance for Audited Media: Media Intelligence Center

  • Time period: varies by publication
  • Geographic coverage: North America
  • Geographic unit(s): ZIP code, city, state
  • Unit of observation: publication
  • The Media Intelligence Center contains circulation statistics for over 3,000 U.S. newspapers and magazines. Audited Reports and Publisher’s Statements provide information on total paid circulation for annual subscriptions and single copy sales, average prices, and circulation by issue and geographic region. Compare print and digital readership rates and find data on website usage, mobile app downloads, and social media interactions.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

  • Time period: varies by database
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): city, state, national
  • Unit of observation: varies by database
  • The FCC provides more than 40 databases for the public to search and retrieve records and reports regarding radio stations, television stations, antenna structure registration, consumer complaints, telecommunication companies, licensing and fillings, and more.

Media Cloud

  • Time period: real time search
  • Geographic coverage: US and some other countries/areas
  • Unit of observation: text
  • Media Cloud, an open source platform for studying media ecosystems, is a collaboration between the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Center for Civic Media at MIT. Users can access the text data in their archive of over 5 billion sentences and over 25,000 online media sources by using their analysis tools or API.


  • Time period: mostly 2000-present
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): block group, tract, city, county, state, ZIP code, congressional district
  • Unit of observation: varied
  • PolicyMap is an online data and mapping tool that enables researchers to access data about communities and markets across the United States. It contains over 15,000 continuously updated datasets related to demographics, economy, health, education, quality of life and more.  It also provides information on broadband internet access.

Statistical Abstract of the United States

  • Time period: 1970-present (2013-2016 editions)
  • Geographic coverage: United States
  • Geographic unit(s): mostly state and region
  • Unit of observation: statistics
  • The Statistical Abstract of the United States provides statistics on media and communication, such as internet, telecommunication, advertising, television, newspapers, radio, recording industry, telephones and telephone industry and motion pictures. The source notes can be used to find more detailed tables and machine-readable datasets.


  • Time period: 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008
  • Geographic coverage: United States
  • Geographic unit(s): media markets (DMAs)
  • Unit of observation: political advertising
  • The Wisconsin Advertising Project (“WiscAds”) is a research project that analyzes how political candidates, political parties, and special interest groups communicate with voters via advertising.  Between 2000-2008, WiscAds grew from the 75 largest media markets (DMAs) to the entire country.  Each ad comes with a variety of codes, including issues mentioned (e.g., economic and social policies), suggested actions for a voter to take, and who paid for the ad.

Eurostat: Digital Economy and Society

  • Time period: 1998-present (varies by indicator)
  • Geographic coverage: Europe
  • Geographic unit(s): national
  • Unit of observation: individual/household; enterprise
  • Eurostat provides databases and statistics in numerous themes. Find statistics regarding digital economy and society such as policy indicators, telecommunication services, computers and internet in households and enterprises, e-commerce, e-skills, and more.

International Historical Statistics

  • Time period: 1750-2010
  • Geographic coverage: international
  • Geographic unit(s): country
  • Unit of observation: statistics
  • IHS is a collection of statistics covering a wide range of socio-economic topics. Find information on communication such as postal and telegraph traffic, telephones in use, and radio and television sets in use. Content is divided into three geographical areas: (1) Africa, Asia, Oceania, (2) Americas, and (3) Europe. Tables can be downloaded in Excel format.

Net Data Directory

  • Time period: real time search
  • Geographic coverage: international
  • Geographic unit(s): national, regional, global
  • Unit of observation: data source
  • The Net Data Directory, a searchable database of different sources of data about the Internet, is a partner of Internet Monitor, a project of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Find data sources related to topics such as access and infrastructure, advertising, APIs, apps, blocking, censorship, cybercrime, cybersecurity, e-commerce, mobile, online dating, phishing, web radio, web technologies, and many more.


  • Time period: 2000-present
  • Geographic coverage: international
  • Geographic unit(s): national
  • Unit of observation: aggregated
  • The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) maintains a Data center, which provides data of a wide range of topics. Find and download data tables of information economy, such as ICT producing sector core indicators, share of ICT goods of total trade, trade flows by ICT goods categories, and more.


  • Time period: varies
  • Geographic coverage: International
  • Geographic unit(s): varies by source
  • UN Data is a portal for finding data from the UN, OECD, IMF, and more.  Databases related to Media and Communication include: World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

  • Time period: 1995-present
  • Geographic coverage: international
  • Geographic unit(s): national
  • Unit of observation: aggregated
  • The UIS provides statistics of education, culture, communication and information, as well as science, technology and innovation. Find communication and information related statistics such as ICT infrastructure, curriculum and ICT in education, computers, broadcast, newspapers, and more in the UIS.Stat database.