Study: TV, Newspapers are America’s Most Trusted Sources For Local News

By Andrew Gauthier 


Americans who wish to stay informed of local news are most likely to turn on the television or flip through a newspaper, says the Pew Research Center for People & the Press. According to a recent Pew survey, TV and newspapers still lead in local news, despite some of the latest headlines.

As many stations contract and reduce staff, most notably the Honolulu station merger which will result in 60 lost jobs, the poll finds that television is still the dominant news choice for the American public. 71% say they get most of their national and international news from television, and similarly, 64% say television is their main source for local news.


Second to television, newspapers rule when it comes to local news. Despite the proliferation of neighborhood blogs (illustrated by Fisher’s recent 43-site launch), online news still lags behind newspapers in this category. Amid reports of declining newspaper readership, a reported 41% still turn to papers to stay informed about local issues and events, more than twice the number that turn to the internet for local news (17%).

Contrary to the popular belief that American youth can only comprehend written material if it’s on a computer screen, a relatively robust number of Americans aged 18-29 prefer to get their local news from newspapers (39%), instead of from the radio (22%) or the web (21%). This may not always be the case, though, considering that the internet continues to have the greatest and most consistent growth of all news media (22% increase since 2007 for national and international news according to the study).

When asked how much they would miss a news source if it disappeared, 82%, or more than eight-in-ten Americans say that if all local television news programs went off the air, it would be an important loss. Around 75% feel the same way about the network evening news (on ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS), cable news networks (CNN, Fox News and MSNBC) and local newspapers in their area.