Local newspapers? Humbug, says America

September 26, 2011

Local newspapers don’t earn much respect from a majority of Americans, a new Pew Research Center survey reveals.

Most of the 2,000 people interviewed for the survey said they wouldn’t miss their local paper if it disappeared.  They also said they wouldn’t have any trouble finding pertinent news if their local paper no longer existed.

Online news services, such as CalCoastNews, are gaining rapidly in favor among younger readers, although websites produced by newspapers and television stations “do not score highly as a relied-upon information source on any topics.”

“This move by younger users to rely on the Internet for local information puts considerable pressure on traditional news sources,” the report said. Although most new companies have “moved online with ambitious website and social media strategies,” evidence exists that more people are finding specialty websites a preferable way to find local news.

The survey said Americans are turning to an ever-widening range of news sources, and word of mouth continues to be a major source of many people’s daily information intake.

People said they scoured their newspaper and online news services for everything from community and crime news to arts and culture, social services, zoning and development.

Newspapers tied with Internet sources for news on housing, schools and jobs, and with TV for local political news.

Among the survey’s other findings:

– Fifty percent of adults use mobile devices to get local news and information. Information about restaurants and other activities is a popular category.

– Only 17 percent of adults said they get local information from social networking sites such as Facebook at least once a month.

– 55 percent of those surveyed said they get local news and information by word of mouth at least once a week.

– Although many people get news online, the websites of newspapers and TV stations “do not score highly as a relied-upon information source on any topics.”

– Nearly half of those surveyed said they don’t have a “favorite” local news source.



  1. rogerfreberg says:

    I have to confess that since I gave up the Tribune… I don’t miss having to get the ink off my hands after every reading.

    One wonders what the Trib will do when the last of their readers dies… their average age has got to be 70.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. Pizmo says:

    Well said, Dexter.

    Do you have any idea if The Trib has covered the Pasolivo story?

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. Nancimeek says:

    The Cal Coast news is NOT afraid to print the truth. the tribune has demonstrated collectively the reporters are a bunch of sissified babies afraid to ruffle feathers by printing the truth They won’t touch our story about Attorney Robert Grigger Jones and the admitted fraud and forgery They are cowards I am waiting for them to prove me wrong and go full force with the Gearhart/Jay Miller/Hurtst Financial/Pe Ji Ho Ta casino scandals Waiting!

    Thank you Karen and CCN for printing the truth and not being afraid of “the good ole boys” network.

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  4. bobfromsanluis says:

    I have subscribed to the Tribune since I moved here in ’73 (back then it was the Telegram-Tribune, the TT for short) and the paper continues to amaze me at the sparse coverage locally. As others have mentioned, with the advertising and the AP or McClatchy news feeds, there wouldn’t be much to the Tribune at all. I don’t use plastic bags in my garbage, recycling bin or compost bin under my sink, I line them with sections of the newspaper after having read it. The paper soaks up most of the liquids that can accumulate and the paper is degradable so it can go into any of the curbside containers. After I empty each container I rinse them out and line the bottoms with fresh sections of the Tribune. Gee, what would I do if I didn’t subscribe to the Tribune? Occasionally I even find some real news there, but most of what is printed I have already seen on the internet before it is delivered via the Tribune. My biggest “challenge” with the Tribune is getting enough paper for my receptacles since my pickup day is Monday when the Tribune is at its thinnest version. ;)

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • easymoney says:

      “Local newspapers don’t earn much respect from a majority of Americans, a new Pew Research Center survey reveals.”
      I too spent good money for years taking the Telegram Tribune, until it was taken over by AP services, they couldn’t even get it into my yard, the price more than tripled in less than five years and the size and number of pages shrank. Not to mention not much “local” coverage, not even “local” photos usede in a “local” story, most come off of the AP wires and the same photos and stories are in all of the “local” papers nationwide…
      I dumped the fishwrap for these reasons and I do not have any respect for it either…

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  5. Bob says:

    I rarely buy the Tribune anymore. Until 3 years ago I was a regular subscriber for over 20 years, now I briefly scan the online version and will never pay for a online subscription from them. If they turn off the free version that’s their loss. Viewing the online version is getting slower and slower with all the add downloads and is getting to the point where I probably will stop going to their web site.

    CCN rocks, if this is the future of local news that’s fine by me. CCN investigative reporting is the primary reason why I regularly read this site. I am looking forward to seeing CCN evolve into a local powerhouse and news leader.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down

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