A new study by the Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that when it comes to getting reliable news in regional Australia, free-to-air TV and newspapers are still the most trusted source.
You can download a copy of the report here.
Titled Local Content In Regional Australia, the study surveyed 2500 people in regional areas and found that television (34 per cent) and print media (21 per cent) were the preferred source of local news, with free-to-air TV being the most trusted (21 per cent) and newspapers second at 19 per cent.
However, it was less good news for the ABC, with only seven per cent of respondents saying they preferred to get their news from the public broadcaster’s radio services.
Eight per cent saw ABC TV as the best source of late breaking news, well below the 24 per cent who turned to commercial TV.
And people in rural areas are particularly distrusting of social media with only four per cent rating them as a trustworthy news source and only nine per cent trusting websites.
Interestingly, the report found that 83 per cent of regional Australians use social media to access local content at least once a week, which is greater than TV (80 per cent) and local newspapers (71 per cent).
“While 14 per cent of regional Australians see social media as a reliable source for the very latest in breaking local news, only four per cent report it to be a trusted source of local news information where they live,” the report noted.
“Twelve per cent of regional Australians see websites (any) as a reliable source for the very latest in breaking local news; only nine per cent report them to be a trusted source of local news information where they live.”