Local newspapers still have a niche

As we enter a new year, there is good news to share regarding community newspapers like the Itemizer-Observer and our importance to those we serve.

We recently received a report from the National Newspaper Association that revealed that readers like you in areas served by community newspapers continue to prefer the community newspaper as their main source of local news and advertising.

The 2011 results of an annual survey show that 74 percent of people in communities served by a newspaper with circulations under 15,000 read a local newspaper each week.

The survey, in its sixth year, shows consistent trends. Among the highlights:

* Readers prefer the printed copy to the online version, with 48 percent saying they never read the local news online.

* They prefer to receive advertising through the newspaper (51 percent) instead of on the Internet (11 percent).

* They also have a strong preference for government accountability through newspaper public notices, with 80 percent saying the government should be required to publish notices in the newspaper and not elsewhere.

* 74 percent of those surveyed read a local newspaper each week. They spend about 38.95 minutes reading their local newspapers.

The local community newspaper is the primary source of information about the local community for 51.8 percent of respondents compared to seeking information from friends and relatives (16 percent) and TV (13.2 percent.) Readers are seven times more likely to get their news from their community newspapers than from the Internet (7.4 percent). Fewer than 6 percent say their primary local news source is radio.

Newspapers are still a viable source of news and advertising, especially at the local community level. We at the Itemizer-Observer will continue to do our best to make your community newspaper your best source for local news and advertising.

--Kurt Holland


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