Regional news media has almost twice the trust of television and radio, with more than half of respondents considering it a trusted source of information, a new report into the sector has found.
Regional news media reaches 3.9 million residents in regional Australia*.
Fifty-four per cent ranked regional newspapers as their most trusted source of information, followed by television at 29 per cent, radio at 27 per cent and online search at 18 per cent, the ‘Think Local – Regional News Media Report’ found.
Regional newspapers were also the most engaging source of information, with readers 1.4 times more likely to find their regional newspaper more engaging than TV, 1.6 times that of radio and 2.9 that of letterbox dropped catalogues and flyers.
The report, commissioned by The Newspaper Works and conducted by Research Now among 1,440 respondents, asked about their local newspaper reading, to better understand the roles newspapers play in readers’ lives, and to compare this with how readers use other media.
The report also found that regional newspapers were readers’ Number One source of information on local business, the most influential media for shopping and buying decisions and an essential connection to the readers’ local community.
“Regional newspapers continue to play a unique and valuable role and this research confirms that communities have a close and trusting relationship with their paper which creates a highly effective advertising environment,” The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands said.
“Readers also overwhelmingly turn to their local newspaper to stay informed about issues affecting their area, events in their region and to get practical, relevant information.”
When it comes to providing information about their local communities and how to find businesses and services in their area, regional newspapers outperformed every other media at 77 per cent. This compares with just 30 per cent for radio, 24 per cent for catalogues/flyers and 22 per cent for television. In addition, regional newspapers ranked Number One for influencing shopping and buying behaviour at 37 per cent.
Regional news media readers are four times more likely to be high income earners than non-readers, with 41 per cent earning $80,000 or more per annum, making newspapers a source of high-value customers.
The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, released last September, found that newspapers were also the most trusted medium for ads.
* Source: emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia), 12 months to December 2015.