Readers Want Public Notices To Stay In Print, Digital Newspapers: Study

Local newspapers may be slowly losing the battle to retain public notices. But they have one key ally in the fight: The readers themselves, judging by the 2023 Local Newspaper Study, a recent survey by America’s Newspapers, conducted by Coda Ventures. 

Of the consumers polled, 66% believe that publishing public notices in newspapers should be required. And 57% say newspapers and their websites are more reliable than city, county or state websites for accessing public notices.  

Moreover, readers say newspapers are the most accurate source of original news reporting, listing them as follows: 

  • Local newspapers/newspaper websites—43%
  • Local TV/TV websites—33% 
  • Social Media—17% 
  • Local Radio/Radio websites—7%

In general,, 74% believe it is important to have a local newspaper provide community news and information, the study notes.  



Meanwhile, local publishers are advised to do one thing to remain competitive: Ensure their content is mobile-friendly. 

Of U.S. readers, 66% consume news on their smartphones. In contrast, 43% access it from a deaktop or laptop, although some do both. 

Overall, 63% of readers read local news in both print and digital platforms. And 218 million Americans access information from local newspapers every month?

Where do those smartphone consumers (and everyone) view online content? They answer:

  • Website—67% 
  • Social Media—59% 
  • Daily/Sunday Newspaper—51%
  • App—51%
  • Weekly Newspaper—51%
  • Email Newsletter—50% 

In addition, local newspapers and their websites are relied on more than any other source for information about public notices and government:

  • Local newspapers/newspaper websites—55%
  • Local TV—36%
  • Social media—32%
  • Government websites—24%
  • Word-of-mouth/friends/relatives—21% 
  • Local radio—19%
  • City newsletters—18% 
  • Public bulletin boards—14% 
  • Non-government website—8%

And, 60% use newspaper advertising to help them decide what to buy.

Newspaper readers are a divergent group: Of those surveyed for this study:

  • 51% are female, 49% mail 
  • 78% are under age 65
  • 67% of households earn $50,000+ per year
  • 61% own homes
  • 57% are employed 
  • 38% are college graduates or higher 
  • 35% have children in their home 
  • 71% have lived in the community for 5+ years 

Coda Ventures surveyed 5,000 respondents.


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