Newspaper Websites Most Valued Local News Source

    February 25, 2010

Newspaper websites are the most valued sites for people seeking credible and trustworthy local content, according to a new survey conducted by comScore for the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).

More than half (57%) of the 3,050 respondents cited local newspaper websites as the top online source for local information. That percentage increases for upper income households (63%) and for the college educated (60%).

Newspaper sites ranked first as a source for local information (29%), local sports (27%), local entertainment (26%) and local classifieds (39%), over both local television websites and online portals.


"This important research provides further evidence of newspapers’ successful multiplatform transition, with the medium serving as a continuous local resource for consumers," said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm.

"While newspaper Web sites often face dozens of competitors touting their own local offerings in any given market, they have been able to thrive by leveraging trusted brands and strong local content to appeal to consumers and advertisers alike."

Local newspaper websites ranked first among all sources for trustworthiness, credibility and being the most informative place to find local content of all types, including news, information, entertainment, sports and classified advertising. When respondents were asked what sources were most trustworthy or reliable, local newspaper websites beat out local television sites (34% vs. 22%), local sports (30% vs. 24%), local entertainment (30% vs. 20%) and local classifieds (42% vs. 13 %).

The survey also found that people consider local newspaper websites to be the most trusted source of online advertising, with ads that are seen to be more current, credible and relevant to them.

Forty percent of adults agreed their opinion of online advertising is influenced by the type of website on which the ad appears. More than one third (36%) selected local newspaper websites for trustworthy advertising compared to 23 percent for local television websites and 12 percent for online portals. This was true across all demographics.

"This survey reinforces the notion that consumers value and trust the premium-quality content found at newspaper Web sites as well as the advertising on those sites," said Randy Bennett, NAA’s senior vice president of Business Development.

"It also provides further evidence that newspapers, which attracted a record 75 million visitors in January, offer advertisers a high-value audience that no other medium can match."