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Report: Readers trust newspapers more than TV, social media for public notices

By Mark McCormick

The Newspaper Manager

America’s Newspapers just released its 2023 Local Newspaper Study, not only highlighting how news consumption and readers have changed but, as America’s Newspapers CEO Dean Ridings puts it, also “measuring the difference local newspapers make.”

First, the big numbers. 218 million Americans access their local newspapers every month, using as their platform the website (67%), followed by social media (59%) then the daily / Sunday paper, the app, or a weekly newsletter (each with 51%). The online survey, which gathered intel from 5,000 respondents, found that 63% of readers get their local news through both the print and the digital platforms of their newspaper. Overall, two-thirds of Americans use their smartphone to access newspaper content.

“From print to digital to social, Americans are consuming local news more than ever before,” the study says, “and they are looking to local newspapers as the most accurate and reliable source of original news reporting.”

(Source: America’s Newspapers)

In its breakdown, MediaPost put particular spotlight on readers’ want for government information, casting them as a “key ally in the fight” in newspapers’ battle to retain public notices. 

According to the study, 66% of Americans say that publishing them in newspapers should be required. Alongside stats that 57% believe newspaper and newspaper sites to be “more reliable” than city, county, or state sites for such notices — and newspapers and newspaper sites are relied on more for that information by 55% of Americans, contrasted by 36% for local TV and 32% for social media — that spotlight proves that newspapers are, as the study says, “a catalyst that helps define the culture of a community.”

Turning its attention to newspaper advertising, the study found that 56% of Americans use such ads to help make purchase decisions for brands, products, and local services, second only to local TV’s 58%.

With so many software tools designed specifically to manage newspaper production, classified ads, circulation revenue, and even digital editions, it’s vital that publishers take the good news wherever it comes and aim it toward further prosperity.

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