Community Newspapers Continue to Connect with Readers

Nov 05, 2013

A recent survey conducted by the National Newspaper Association found that readers of community newspapers (defined as local daily or non-daily newspapers with circulation of 15,000 or less), prefer these publications for getting their news and advertising information. These results are consistent with those from previous studies.

Forty-nine percent of community newspaper readers with Internet access said they never read local news online, indicating that small town residents still rely on printed newspapers for this information, and 47% of online users said they would choose a newspaper’s website as their favorite source of local news information.

Other key findings include:

Community newspapers are engaging

  • 71% of respondents read a community newspaper at least once a week.
  • 84% agree that they look forward to reading newspapers.
  • 75% read all or most of their community newspaper.
  • 75% of readers are entertained by newspapers.
  • 89% of readers say that community newspapers have stories for their particular interests.
  • Community newspaper readers spend nearly 40 minutes a day reading the local paper – an increase of 2.5% from the previous year.
  • Pass-along readership rate of community newspapers is 2.18 readers per copy.

Community newspapers are informative

  • 92% of community newspaper readers think local newspapers are informative.
  • 83% of readers said they and their families rely on the newspapers for local news and information.
  • 69% believe that newspapers provide valuable local shopping and advertising information.
  • 84% of local newspaper readers read grocery ads and inserts.
  • More than half of community newspaper readers clipped a print story or shared a website story link in the past year.
  • 78% believe governments should be required to publish public notices in newspapers.
  • 85% of community newspaper readers read public notices.

Community newspapers are preferred

  • More than half of community newspaper readers prefer their local newspaper for information about their community over television and radio.
  • Seven of 10 local newspaper readers believe the coverage and accuracy of their paper is either “good” or “excellent,” demonstrating their trust in the product over other media sources.
  • 96% of readers pay for their community newspaper.
  • 84% of readers find local newspapers easy to use.

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