New Study Shows Fewer Americans Paying For Local News

New Study Shows Fewer Americans Paying For Local News

By Adam Smith | Finance Contributor on March 29, 2019

Finding out what is going on is easier now than ever before. With the Internet, people can find the news in their area within minutes. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that every online news outlet offers free services. In fact, some do charge viewers a monthly subscription fee. Whatever the case may be, fewer Americans are paying for local news, according to a recent study. The study revealed that only about seven people out of 10 believe their local news outlets are doing very well financially.

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Financial Struggles

Most people are not aware or even do they care that the journalism industry is facing financial struggles in today’s economy. The Internet has made it possible for everyone to access the news in their localities for free. Where does this put media outlets? Well, it definitely doesn’t help that local news is now available on social media and other independent news sites.

The Pew Research Center conducted a study in which nearly 35,000 American adults were surveyed to determine the relationship between local news outlets and their audiences. The results revealed that seven million people living in the Dallas-Fort Worth region said they followed their local news closely. That is only about 70 percent of the population in that area following the local news. This poses problems for local news organizations. In fact, some are concerned that they may not be able to remain in operation if it gets any worse.

Where Do People Get Their News?

As mentioned above, most people are turning to the Internet for local and national news. When surveyed, most of the people living in the Dallas-Fort Worth region said they utilized their mobile devices to access the local news. They were interested in a variety of topics. But, the most popular topics included the weather, crime, traffic and price changes.

The study showed that about 43 percent of the people surveyed in the Dallas area got their local news via television, 24 percent utilized news websites and apps to access their local news. Eighteen percent turned to social media and 9 percent the radio. Only 6 percent of the people surveyed in Dallas got their local news from print (newspaper).

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Paying Customers

The study also revealed that only 11 percent of the people surveyed in Dallas paid for local news. Most of the people surveyed agreed that free news was the biggest reason they did not pay for local news. On a good note, people are paying real money pokies in Australia. What does this mean for online gambling outlets? Well, one thing is for sure there is no sign of them slowing down any time soon.

The study also asked Dallasites about their favorite local news organizations. The survey showed that the majority of Dallasites surveyed preferred to get their news from KDFW TV, a local Fox affiliate. Another 10 percent got their local news from WFAA TV, a local ABC affiliate, and 9 percent relied on KXAS TV (a local NBC affiliate).

Only 4 percent of the Dallasites surveyed admitted to getting their local news from The Dallas Morning News.

What About Newspapers?

Fewer people are getting their news from print (newspapers) than ever before. According to another recent study, over 60 percent of the counties in the United States do not have access to newspapers. In these “news deserts”, people have to rely on TV, radio, social media and local news websites.

According to a study from the University of North Carolina, the majority of newspapers lost was between 1996 and 2015. This all occurred while government costs increased.

It is not clear if the people living in news deserts would even pay for a newspaper subscription if they had a local newspaper. Some may feel that it is unnecessary to buy the local news when they can get it for free. Since most people are connected to a computer or mobile device most of the day, it only makes sense to learn what is going on in the local areas by visiting news websites.

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Social Media

There really isn’t any topic that is not discussed on social media. And, just about everyone utilizes some form of social media today. Some will agree that the reasoning behind their social media usage is to get the news.


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