From large urban areas to rural communities, Americans often report similarly high levels of interest in news. Still, a national survey shows that community differences emerge in the number and variety of local news sources people use in different types of communities, as well as their degree of “local news participation” through social media and their mobile news consumption.
A new report from the Pew Research Center shows that many of the differences in local news consumption emerging from these data reflect the varying demographic compositions of different community types in the U.S. Some differences in the platforms people use might also be tied to the lower overall use of the internet and mobile platforms in small towns and rural areas.
“Interest in community news on all kinds of topics is quite high in every type of community,” noted Kristen Purcell of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a co-author of the report. “Still, people get local information in different ways depending on the type of community in which they live, and they differ in the degree to which digital and mobile platforms factor into their mix of sources."
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. For results based Internet users (n=1,762), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.