2016 was a game-changing year for the news media.
On the heels of the U.S. presidential election, the larger part of this year has focused on “fake news.” At the same time, skepticism about viable news sources has risen among U.S. consumers. What began as a discussion about deceptive news stories on social media platforms has evolved into a broader discussions of media.
With media and news outlets accusing each other of spreading fake information, U.S. consumers are being forced to re-evaluate where they get their news, turning their attention to those platforms deemed most trustworthy.
At the same time, advertisers and marketers are trying to keep up with this evolving landscape and identify the best platforms to reach their target audiences more effectively.
Local vs. National
A recent nationwide consumer survey that Videa sponsored addressed some of these open questions among U.S. consumers. Respondents were asked to share their thoughts and perspectives on how much they trust their local news media, compared to the national news media; where they get their local news; and the reasons behind those decisions.
Some 61% of the 1,145 U.S. consumers surveyed said they have “some” or “a lot of” trust in the information they get from local news organizations.
However, 68% of respondents said they trust local news over national news, with only 38% of the respondents preferring the latter as a source of information. This stark difference in trust seems to be motivated by a bias factor. One in three respondents who trust local news more than national news affirmed they do so because local news sources have less of a bias and no political agenda.
Consumers who said they value local news for their reliability and relevance consider local news sources as easier to verify, more truthful and more relevant overall.
Local TV Is Trusted TV
When it comes to consumer platforms of choice, television remains king for local news sources. A majority, 59% of respondents, said they get their local news from television somewhat or very often — compared to 38% who say the same for social media. Another 36% prefer print media, and 36% favor local radio stations.
Even more, 36% of respondents said they get their local news content from television very often. This number is nearly twice as much as the next highest source, social media (19%), and twice or more for print media (18%) and local radio stations (15%).
These findings underscore the importance of local television news in the minds of U.S. consumers — especially in a delicate environment where consumers are highly skeptical of news and information sources.
Just last year, another consumer study, conducted by Pew Research Center, revealed local news organizations to be the most-trusted source of news among U.S. consumers, with 82% of respondents affirming they trusted local news organizations some or a lot.
For advertisers and marketers, these findings help to provide clarity on the platforms that consumers not only trust, but have come to rely on for their news. Although technology has and will continue to evolve, local television is still a primary news source for consumers.