Most Americans Support Public Access To Local News, But Are Divided On Funding

A new Gallup-Knight study reveals a public in support of access to local news, but with conflicting ideas of how the struggling industry should be supported.

According to the study, 86% of American believe people should have access to local news — even if they aren’t paying for it.

They believe individuals, philanthropic organizations and tech platforms should pick up the financial slack.

Specifically, those Americans polled showed a divided public when it came to subsidies, with 66% opposing support from federal government for local news and 60% opposing subsidies from local government.

Fifty-three percent of those respondents identifying as Democrats favor federal tax funds and 61% favor local taxes, while only 30% and 37% of Independents and 8% and 14% of Republicans agreed with those avenues of funding.

Only 33% of those polled subscribe to a news source today, although 47% believe local newspapers are important and should be protected.



Sam Gill, vice president for communities and impact and special adviser to the president at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, stated: "It's time to ask searching questions of ourselves as a society about how much we value local news, and what we're prepared to do to ensure its future."

The study did find that when Americans were presented with the financial challenges facing local news, they were more likely to pay for it. Some 54% responded they were significantly more likely to donate to a nonprofit organization supporting local journalism. Those who didn’t receive this information were only 40% more likely to support a nonprofit.
Next story loading loading..