Media trends: Americans trust local news more than national media

by | Jun 19, 2017 | Media, Public Relations

Supply-side TV-ad platform Videa recently revealed the findings of a recent nationwide survey of consumer perspectives on local and national news sources. According to the study, 61 percent of the 1,145 U.S. consumers surveyed indicated that they have some—or a lot of—trust in the information they get from local news organizations.

Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed cited that they get their local news from television somewhat or very often—compared to 38 percent, 36 percent, and 36 percent for those who say the same for social media, print media, and local radio stations. In fact, those who said they got local news content from television very often (36 percent) is nearly twice the next highest source (social media, 19 percent very often), twice or more for print media (18 percent very often) and local radio stations (15 percent).

When it comes to key local news drivers that ranked high among consumers, reliability and relevance dominated responses. These respondents cited local news sources as easier to verify, more truthful and more relevant overall.

Video Americans trust local news more than national media

Looking at those who have a clear preference between local and national news, the difference in trust is stark. Of those who say they trust one over the other, 62 percent said they trust local news media more, compared to 38 percent who say they trust national news sources more.

Of the majority who trust local news over national news, they cited lack of bias in local news as a critical factor for that sentiment. One-in-three who trust local news more than national news sources say they have that trust because there is less bias and no political agenda.

“This research provides valuable insight into consumer behaviors and interests across the U.S.,” said Shereta Williams, president of Videa, in a news release. “The latest research findings underscore the viability of local television news in the minds of U.S. consumers—especially in such a delicate environment where consumers have been highly skeptical of news sources on the heels of the recent election. The research also reinforces how television reigns as a primary local news source for consumers in the ever-evolving digital age.”

Furthermore, just 39 percent of consumers say they are somewhat, mostly, or completely comfortable with advertisers collecting Smart TV data, while 48 percent were somewhat, mostly, or completely uncomfortable with this. People were more likely to say they were completely uncomfortable (21 percent) than any other response.

Findings also revealed that when thinking about cord-cutting, and going without cable TV or satellite TV, consumers cited that they would miss live programming/specific programs first and foremost, followed by a specific news channel/weather and sports.

Video Americans trust local news more than national media

The survey was conducted online with 1,145 adults nationwide between March 21-22, 2017. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+). All results are based on a sample and are therefore subject to statistical errors normally associated with sample-based information.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter