Commentary

Newspapers Still Tops For Local News

Local newspapers are still the top source of news about readers’ communities, including their branded Web sites and social media channels, according to a new survey of 1,000 local media users commissioned by AMG/Parade, publisher of newspaper insert magazines and conducted by research outfit Coda Ventures.

 

Newspapers led online consumption for local news, the Coda survey found, with 40% of local news consumers saying they had visited a newspaper Web site in the past 30 days, compared to 29% for local TV station Web sites, 16% for local radio station Web sites, and 15% for magazines.

Similarly, 32% of local news consumers had visited a newspaper’s social-media channels in the last month, versus 21% for TV stations, 17% for magazines, and 15% for radio.

Local papers also lead the way when it comes to advertising effectiveness. Asked which media they consider the best source of information for sales and deals, 47% of local media users cited newspapers, compared to 32% for TV and 27% for direct mail.

Turning to specific ad categories, local media users named newspapers as their “most relied on” source for deals across a range of goods and services, including apparel and accessories (33%), automotive (32%), electronics (31%), groceries (44%), home furnishings (30%), home improvement (35%), lawn and garden (44%), and office supplies (36%). In each category newspapers bested TV, magazines, radio, direct mail, and social media.

Importantly, the high value placed on newspapers as sources of news and information was echoed by younger media users.

AMG and Coda surveyed 305 millennial media users and found that 49% said newspapers did the “best job” providing local news and information, slightly ahead of TV at 48% and more than double radio at 24%.

Further, 42% of millennial media users said the had visited a newspaper Web site in the past 30 days, compared to 28% for TV Web sites, and 41% had visited a newspaper’s social media presence, compared to 25% for TV social channels.

4 comments about "Newspapers Still Tops For Local News".
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  1. Steve Baldwin from Didit, August 30, 2016 at 2:09 p.m.

    You might want to change the headline to read "Newspaper Sites Tops for Local News." Otherwise it may appear to those seeing this article in email readers (such as myself) that newspapers themselves -- not their cyberspace equivalents -- are still "tops for local news," which is clearly not the case based on the facts cited in this article. Just a suggestion...

  2. Gayle Moss from On-Mark-IT, August 30, 2016 at 2:27 p.m.

    I'd love to see the survey questions for this research to see how balanced the questions are (or not).  Given where the data came from for this article (AMG/Parade, publisher of newspaper insert magazines and conducted by research outfit Coda Ventures.) it appears to be more like a native ad made to look like serious research.
     
    There are lots of other places that locals get their news these days as the quality of journalism has taken a nose dive in recent years due to newsrooms cuts.  But they aren't even mentioned.

    MediaPost - I would have expected more from you than this.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 30, 2016 at 3:32 p.m.

    I love the observation that newspapers lead in "advertising effectiveness". Here "effectiveness" is defined by the finding ---or claim---that newspapers topped TV by 47% to 32% as the "best source of information about sales and deals". Golly Miss Molly, that's not advertising effectiveness, its a loaded, highly general question designed to make newspapers look good as they are, indeed, where you are most often likely to see ads touting sales, prices, etc. It's just standard propaganda designed to snow the local yokels but doesn't define ad impact at all. To do that you need much tighter ad by ad metrics--like recall, persuasion, etc. where newspapers fall far short of TV.

  4. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network, August 30, 2016 at 6:53 p.m.

    So far, it appears that I'm in the minority regarding the subject of this article. Unlike others, when I saw "newspapers" in the headline, I didn't think that the author was limiting the discussion to actual newsprint, but to all the outlets used by newspaper publishers, including websites, emails and so on. 

    My point is that I trust the work product of legitimate newspaper publishers, no matter how they choose to present that product, in different ways than I trust news magazines, cable news outlets, etc. 

    And I'm not at all surprised at the findings mentioned in the article, since good old ink on paper still holds more value than pixels on a screen.  For example, telling someone that you saw their name in the paper is still much more meaningful than telling them you saw their name online. (Whether those mentions were positive or negative really doesn't matter.)

    On the other hand, if your crazy uncle Harold has every copy of the New York Times from the past thirty years on a single hard drive, he's much less likely to be taking a trip to the Funny Farm than if he had thirty years worth of of printed copies of the NYT, stacked floor to ceiling in every room of his house. 

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