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Thursday, May 9, 2024

Local News Trends

Many posts have dealt with media problems such as ghost newspapers and news deserts.

Some national outlets are doing fine, but local newspapers are struggling.

From Pew:
The local news landscape in America is going through profound changes as both news consumers and producers continue to adapt to a more digital news environment. We recently asked U.S. adults about the ways they access local news, as well as their attitudes toward local journalism, finding that:
  • A growing share of Americans prefer to get local news online, while fewer are getting news on TV or in print. And newspapers are no longer primarily consumed as a print product – the majority of readers of local daily newspapers now access them digitally.
  • The share of U.S. adults who say they are paying close attention to local news has dropped since our last major survey of attitudes toward local news in 2018, mirroring declining attention to national news.
  • Americans still see value in local news and local journalists. A large majority say local news outlets are at least somewhat important to the well-being of their local community. Most people also say local journalists are in touch with their communities and that their local news media perform well at several aspects of their jobs, such as reporting the news accurately.
  • At the same time, a relatively small share of Americans (15%) say they have paid for local news in the last year. And many seem unaware of the major financial challenges facing local news: A 63% majority (albeit a smaller majority than in 2018) say they think their local news outlets are doing very or somewhat well financially.
  • Majorities of both major parties say local media in their area are doing their jobs well. While Republicans and GOP-leaning independents are slightly less positive than Democrats and Democratic leaners in their opinions of local media, views of local news don’t have the same stark political divides that exist within Americans’ opinions about national media.
  • Most Americans say local journalists should remain neutral on issues in their community, but a substantial minority say local journalists should take a more active role. About three-in-ten say local journalists should advocate for change in their communities, a view that’s especially common among Democrats and younger adults.