Here is a story from our community newspaper trade organization, the National Newspaper Association. This kind of goes along with the editorial I wrote a couple of weeks ago about a world without newspapers.
Readers in areas served by community newspapers continue to prefer the community newspaper as their sources of local news and advertising. The 2011 results of an annual survey conducted by the National Newspaper Association and the research arm of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism show that 74 percent of people in communities served by a newspaper with circulations under 15,000 read a local newspaper each week.
The survey, in its sixth year, shows consistent trends.
Readers prefer the printed copy to the online version, with 48 percent saying they never read the local news online.
They prefer to receive advertising through the newspaper (51 percent) instead of on the Internet (11 percent). And only about a quarter of respondents said they had found local news through a mobile device in the past 30 days. Slightly more (38 percent) said they had received local shopping information by mobile device.
They also have a strong preference for government accountability through newspaper public notice, with 80 percent saying the government should be required to publish notices in the newspaper.
NNA President Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Swift County (Minn.) Monitor-News in Benson, Minn., said the study demonstrates that citizens believe in newspapers.
“The survey shows a majority of respondents believe that the newspaper does a better job of providing background and depth on stories essential to citizens,” Anfinson said. “Further, the newspaper is more useful to them personally than any other news source. It not only highlights the strong bond between local communities and their newspapers, but demonstrates that people do value good journalism.”