According to the 2011 results of an annual survey conducted by he National Newspaper Association and the research arm of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism, readers in areas served by community newspapers continue to prefer the community newspaper as their source of local news and advertising.
The study shows that 74% of people in communities served by a newspaper with circulations under 15,000 read a local newspaper each week. They prefer the printed copy to the online version, with 48% saying they never read the local news online. They prefer to receive advertising through the newspaper (51%) instead of on the Internet (11%). And only about a quarter of respondents said they had found local news through a mobile device in the past 30 days. 38% said they had received local shopping information by mobile device.
81% of local residents rely on the paper for local news and information, according to a survey. 86% of respondents say their local newspaper is informative, and 3 in 4 look forward to reading it. They also have a strong preference for government accountability through newspaper public notice, with 80% saying the government should be required to publish notices in the newspaper.
Community Newspaper Values (% of Local Residents Agreeing)
Rely on for local news/info
Look forward to reading
Valuable shopping/ad info
Source: NAA 2011 Community Newspaper Readership Survey, December 2011
NNA President Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Swift County Monitor-News in Benson, MN, says “... the survey indicates a majority of respondents believe that the newspaper... provides more background and depth... is more useful to them than other news sources... ”
Since 2005, NNA has done research on how people read and what they think about their local newspaper. Results have been consistent over the years, even as sample and community sizes have been adjusted slightly. The data indicates that the positive findings in the earlier surveys are consistent for community newspapers:
The local community newspaper is the primary source of information about the local community for 51.8% of respondents compared to seeking information from friends and relatives (16%) and TV (13.2%.) (7.4%), says the report. Less than 6% say their primary local news source is radio.
Of those with Internet access at home, 89% have broadband access. Readers are seven times more likely to get their news from their community newspaper than from the Internet
Data from the survey indicates that given the choice, 8 in 10 respondents say they would rather look through ads in the newspapers than view ads on the internet. Two-thirds of respondents agree that they often use newspaper advertising inserts to help make purchasing decisions. Similarly, two-thirds agree that they often seek out newspaper advertising to find information on the latest offerings and sales available in their area, and almost half say that there are days when they read the newspaper as much for the ads as for the content.
Prefer Newspaper Ads to TV Ads (% of Respondents)
% of Respondents
Source: NNA 2011 Community Newspaper Readership Survey, December 2011
For additional information from the NNA, please visit here.