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Community Newspapers Tops For News

April 10, 2013 - Jane Whitmore
Survey: Community papers still tops for local news -- That was the headline that of a National Newspaper Association press release. “The numbers are self-evident. They indicate the level of connectedness people have with their community newspaper,” said NNA President Merle Baranczyk. “From year to year, the studies have shown that people believe in their local papers, for the news they need and the advertising they rely on.” Here is how the survey was conducted: The survey was conducted in small U.S. towns and cities where the circulation size of the local newspaper was 15,000 or less. The survey was conducted for the National Newspaper Association by the research arm of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. This is the survey’s seventh year. The survey shows people read their community newspapers. I think our loyal readers will agree. The Reporter and The Democrat have been around for more than 100 years and we’re still providing local news to our readers. We find that readers look to our twin weekly newspapers for local news; advertising from local businesses; classified advertising from the area; and, legal notices. The NNA survey found that of those who participated in the survey, 52 percent were daily newspaper readers and 48 percent were non-daily readers. The circulation sizes of the newspapers ranged from 309 to 14,943. The study showed that 71 percent of those participating in the survey read a community newspaper at least once a week. Local news content is important, the survey showed. More than half of readers (56 percent) had either clipped a story from the print newspaper or provided a link from the newspaper’s website to save or send to a friend or family member in the past 12 months. The majority of local readers continued to regard community newspapers as highly valuable and important sources of information about their communities. • 92% of readers thought local newspapers were informative • 83% agreed that they and their families relied on the newspapers for local news and information • 84% of readers (and their families) would look forward to reading the newspapers • 69% thought the newspapers provided valuable local shopping and advertising information • 75% agreed that local newspaper entertained them • Nearly half of readers (46 percent) used the newspapers for their political and voting decisions Readership of public notices in local newspapers continue to be solid. When asked, “Do you think governments should be required to public notices in newspapers?”?78 percent said “yes.” At The Reporter & The Democrat, we strongly believe in the public’s right to know. Public, or “legal” notices are a well read section of our newspapers. We appreciate our subscribers for their loyalty and we thank each and every one most kindly. We are proud to be your community newspaper.


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