National Newspaper Week gets under way today and it gives us an opportunity to comment on why newspapers remain the preference of choice for getting local news and information.
When the research people at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Maryland School of Journalism surveyed readers this year about their local newspaper, they found that the trend for readership of community newspapers is consistent with earlier surveys. The study showed that 71 percent of the respondents read a community newspaper at least once a week.
Analysis showed that readership of local newspapers was significantly and positively associated with age, suggesting that older adults read local newspapers significantly more than younger adults. This finding is consistent with those of the NNA surveys in 2010 and 2011, and those reported by the Pew Research Center in 2012.
Among the survey’s findings:
• 75% read all or most of their newspaper. Compared to 73 percent in 2011 and 78 percent in 2010.
• 43.8% keep their paper for more than 10 days.
• 77.4% read the paper for local news and information.
• 92% of readers thought local newspapers were informative.
• 83% agreed that they and their families relied on the newspapers for local news and information.
• 69% thought the newspapers provided valuable local shopping and advertising information.
• Nearly half of readers (46 percent) used the newspapers for their political and voting decisions.
Newspapers have more than their share of competitors including millions of websites, Facebook, billboards, radio and television. But when the vast majority want “authoritative” news coverage, they turn to the nation’s daily and weekly newspapers.
Local news is the top priority at the Cumberland Times-News — always has been and always will be. We’ve broadened our audience in recent years through our presence on the Internet at www.times-news.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
As we move forward we will continue to be the community’s comprehensive source of local news, local sports, births, deaths, weddings, engagements, business news, crime, courts, real estate and countless other events that involve our community.
Our local news philosophy is reflected by the theme of this year’s National Newspaper Week: “Your Community, Your Newspaper, Your Life.”