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Half of people still read local newspapers, survey finds

A survey carried out by media regulator Ofcom has found that more people get their local news from print than online.

The media watchdog surveyed 2,016 people across the country for a report on news consumption in the UK published at lunchtime today, following on from a similar study last year.

It found that half of people read local newspapers at least once a week compared to 36pc who said they visited news websites.

However the survey found that television is the most used platform for local news with 80pc of adults watching regional news programmes at least once a week.

The survey, carried out by pollsters Ipsos Mori, found that some people are using local newspapers more while others are using them less.

While 15pc claimed to use paid-for local newspapers more, and 18pc free newspapers, 17pc claimed to use paid-for titles less and 16pc free titles.

It also revealed that the 15-24 age group were more likely than any other age group to have increased their use of local newspapers, with over 34pc reading paid-for titles more and 40pc reading free titles more.

The 15-24 age group is also less likely to watch regional news on TV on at least a weekly basis, but more likely to use local news websites, with 17pc of 15-24s doing this, compared to 4pc of over-55s.

The survey showed clear growth in the use of online local media sources has increased over the past two years, with 49pc of respondents claiming to use the internet more for local news and information.

The full report can be read here


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  • September 26, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I might not like what’s happened to newspapers over the years, but anyone who thinks they’re getting local news from TV is in need of help. The net is cast too wide for it to be anything other than cherry picking, and often the stories cherry picked are the ones that best translate into TV anyhow, not necessarily the best stories. It’s an instant turn off if you’re from Oldham to find the lead story is about Liverpool. But if that’s what the public wants …

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  • September 26, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Worth noting that in Wales there is at present no specifically ‘local’ TV news to any specific area of Wales. BBC, ITV and S4C’s output is all ‘national’ in a Welsh sense.
    Therefore for truly local news there really is a reliance on local news media, usually newspapers.

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  • September 26, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Television coverage in Lancashire from the BBC and Granada is rubbish. News reports are fleeting, often failing to do follow-ups next day, thus leaving viewers wondering how the story ended.
    Audiences often complain that the subjects chosen seem designed to boost the celebrity status of presenters rather than impart intelligent information.
    Business coverage is lamentable, too often relying on marketing departments of companies to supply the information broadcast. There is little independent analysis of real economic conditions in any particular area.
    Like your average evening newspaper, the usual news output is one long catalogue of murders, rapes, arson followed by two or three charity stories, then perhaps a hospital story. We come to a light piece by your favourite presenter, finish with a traffic round-up from somewhere, then it’s your weather girl and goodnight.
    Many American states have small town television which offer far more opinions, often bigoted, often inane, but which do more to make you THINK.
    We will always be stuck with the same insipid regional television in the UK as long as the three main political parties hold sway.

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  • September 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    And yet all but a very small handful of local weekly and daily newspapers have recorded falls in their circulation.

    On the point about national TV news coverage. Has anyone noticed how little national news there actually is? Watch Channel 4 news for example and the majority of the content is international rounded off with a feature or two on the arts.

    To get any true picture of what’s going on you would have to watch all the regional BBC TV news bulletins which at least, at the regional level, still maintain a certain level of quality journalism.

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