Newspapers and TV preferred for regional news

Busselton Dunsborough Times
Print media remains one of the most popular sources of news in regional Australia.
Camera IconPrint media remains one of the most popular sources of news in regional Australia. Credit: Busselton Dunsborough Times

Print media and commercial television are the preferred source of local news in the country’s regions, an Australian Communications and Media Authority report has found.

The Local Content in Regional Australia 2017 report, released on Monday, surveyed almost 2500 regional Australians to gauge the perceived importance of local news, awareness and preferred sources of accessing local content.

It found 89 per cent of regional Australians considered local content important, 86 per cent thought local news important, and 87 per cent were satisfied with the overall quality of their local news.

It also found traditional media, despite an overall decline in circulation and audience ratings, remained the principal way respondents accessed local news, with the most identified source of news being the local print newspaper and commercial free-to-air television at 90 and 74 per cent respectively.

TV and local papers were also more trusted than other media, including ABC Radio, websites and social media.

And while 18 per cent of regional Australians surveyed used social media to access local news, and 9 per cent preferred social media as a source of local news, trust was low at 4 per cent, compared to local papers (19 per cent) and commercial TV (21 per cent).

The full report can be found at www.acma.gov.au.

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