Regional TV stations and local newspapers offer the most “trustworthy” information about local council issues according to a new survey.
Research carried out for the Newspaper Society found that 63pc of people are happy with the amount of information about their local council or other public bodies in their local newspaper or its website.
The survey, commissioned by the NS for Local Newspaper Week, found that only 20pc of people regard council publications as the most trustworthy source of unbiased information about town hall matters.
By contrast, 40pc named regional TV news as the most trusted source and 36pc local newspapers.
Local newspapers also emerged as by far the most favoured first port-of-call for people wanting to raise awareness of a local issue or problem.
Asked who they would contact first in relation to a local issue, 60pc said local newspapers, 15pc cited council publications and 11pc said local radio stations.
NS communications director Lynne Anderson said: “The survey powerfully illustrates that trusted local newspapers are valued by the vast majority of the population for the role they play in holding local public bodies such as councils to account.
“Local newspapers are by far the most popular media source for people who want to raise awareness of an issue or problem and as such they perform a unique role in upholding democracy which begins at a local level.”
realist (12/05/2010 11:44:25)
What a lot of twaddle. Instead of using these dubious figures from an unattributed “survey” to have another tiresome bash at local authority newspapers, the Newspaper Society and all its proprietor and editor members should be asking why it is that more people now regard regional tv news as more reliable than newspapers. If people really think that a 2minute dose of wallpaper, a talking head, and a reporter’s piece to camera is more credible than a report in the local rag, then newspapers might as well pack in and go home. As indeed most of them seem to be doing. The reporting of local government, NHS Trust meetings, magistrates courts, etc etc has virtually disappeared from the local newspapers I read. Instead, I am obliged to read regular pieces on how the local council newsletter is threatening the very foundations of our democracy. Pass the sick bag, Alice.
realword (12/05/2010 12:47:34)
Some stories on regional tv wouldn’t make a freesheet they are so pathetic.
But local newspapers are so severely under-staffed that their reliability accuracy and vibrancy is seriously threatened. You don’t get owt for nowt.