Newspaper sites are valuable and credible goddamit! A November 2009 survey among 3,050 US adults, sponsored by the Newspaper Assn of America (fielded by comScore), found the following:
Local newspaper Web sites 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 Web sites bested local television sites by twelve percentage points for local information (34 percent vs. 22 percent), by six points for local sports (30 percent vs. 24 percent), by 10 points for local entertainment (30 percent vs. 20 percent) and by 29 points for local classifieds (42 percent vs. 13 percent).
Let’s look at some of the data from the associated report, Site Matters: The Value of Local Newspaper Web Sites, which asked consumers a range of questions about their sources for local information and how trustworthy and credible they perceived those sources to be . . .
Noticeably absent from the list above are yellow pages directories, search engines and city guides and other types of local sites such as Yelp — although they might fall into “other type of Web site” perhaps.
These are not all the findings but what they assert is the following:
- People care about local information
- Newspaper websites are the go-to sources for local news and other content
- Newspaper websites are more trusted and credible for local information
- Newspaper sites make the ads that appear on them more effective (for 40% of consumer-respondents)
These data echo a 2008 OPA study about newspaper and other local content sites, whose findings are somewhat more varied but generally consistent.
There’s no question that people value local content and newspaper sites are well regarded. Yet here’s TMP-comScore data (mirrored by other studies) that show something different in response to a slightly different question: