Local news still dominant in small and rural areas: NNA study

Small town community newspapers continue to show strength south of the border, which can only be good news for publishers of them here in Canada.

Local  newspapers remain the dominant source of news in small towns and rural  areas, according to the results of a new survey performed by the  Reynolds  Journalism Institute’s Center for Advanced Social Research and  the University  of Missouri’s School of Journalism on behalf of the  National Newspaper  Association.

Overall,  74% of residents of these areas said they read the local newspapers  at  least once a week, with 48% reading them once a week and 11% reading them every day.

When interpreting these results, it should be remembered that  many of the  newspapers in question are weeklies or “non-dailies,”  making up 86% of the  newspapers in the survey. Thus, 70% of the  respondents said they read non-dailies.

Respondents  said they spent an average of 39 minutes a week reading the  local  newspaper, up slightly from a previous survey in 2010. The survey also  found that older adults, residents who  have stayed in their communities longer,  and people with more education  read local newspapers significantly more than  younger adults, residents  of shorter duration, and those with less  education.

Among  respondents who said they read a local newspaper, 92% said they pay  for  the newspaper, and the rest get it free. Within this group, 67%  subscribe  to the newspaper, while 33% said they buy it from a news rack  or store.

In  terms of motivation, 83.2% of respondents who read the local newspaper   do so primarily for the news content, but 69.2% also agreed that it  “provides  valuable local shopping and advertising information.”

The organizations surveyed 500 adults  ages 18 and over living in areas  served by newspapers with a circulation  under 15,000.

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/164796/extra-extra-local-newspaper-readership-stays-str.html#ixzz1hrALKpeO

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