Even though state and local governments are debating the best way to transmit public notice, those readers surveyed said newspapers remain the best way to receive such notices:
-75 percent think governments should be required to publish public notices in newspapers, with 23 percent reading public notices very often in their newspapers.
-71 percent have Internet access in the home, but 66 percent never visit a website of a local government.
-Of those with Internet access at home, 89 percent have broadband access.
The local community newspaper is the primary source of information about the local community for 49.3 percent of respondents. The next best source runs a distant second: friends and relatives for 18 percent of respondents and TV, 16 percent. Readers are nearly seven times more likely to get their local news from their community newspapers than from the Internet (7.7 percent). Less than 6 percent say their primary local news source is radio.
Watch for additional information, charts and presentations from the survey in future issues of Publishers’ Auxiliary and on NNA’s website.
Established in 1885, NNA is the voice of America’s community newspapers and the largest newspaper association in the country. The nation’s community papers inform, educate and entertain nearly 150 million readers every week.
The 2010 survey was based on 670 telephone interviews completed with residents that lived in areas where the local newspapers had a circulation of 8,000 or less in the U.S. in August and October 2010. Please note that this sampling methodology differs from the survey conducted in 2009, which was based on 500 telephone interviews completed with residents that lived in areas where the local newspapers had a circulation of 15,000 or less. Because of this new methodology, the 2010 survey had the highest percentage of non-daily newspaper readers (66.2 percent), compared to previous years. This may explain the reduction in the percentage of visits to newspaper Web sites (from 63 percent to 55 percent) between the two years (2009 and 2010) as the number of non-daily newspapers that have a functional website serving small towns and cities may be lower than that of daily newspapers. Further, in the 2010 survey, cell phone numbers were included in the sample, compared to landline numbers only in the past four years. As a result, the average age of the 2010 respondents (51.2) was younger than those in previous years (56.1). Please refer to the full study for more information about the research methods and results.