While local TV news remains the most popular source for local information in America, adults rely on it primarily for just three subjects—weather, breaking news and to a lesser extent traffic. And for all their problems, newspapers (both print and on the web) are the source Americans turn to most for a wider range of information than any other source, according to a new survey out today.
The internet has a strong hold in the local community as well. Web-only outlets are now the key source of information on some key subjects such as education or local business and restaurants. And greater disruption seems to lie ahead. For the 79% of Americans who are online, as well as Americans ages 18-39, the internet ranks as a top source of information for most of the local subjects studied in the survey.
These are among the findings of a new a new study produced by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Internet & American Life Project in partnership with John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The survey looks in a new and detailed way at how people learn about community by breaking down local information into 16 key topic areas. The result is a more nuanced understanding of the role each media plays in a community. Read more...
About the Survey
The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from January 12 to 25, 2011, among a sample of 2,251 adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,501) and cell phone (750, including 332 without a landline phone). For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.