New research says local press is most trusted media

New research suggests that local newspapers and their websites are the most trusted media in the UK.

According to the Newspaper Society’s Loving Local survey, 45 per cent of Britons say local media (local newspapers and their websites) are the media they trust most, compared with 37 per cent for television, 33 per cent citing national newspapers, 32 per cent online, 17 per cent magazines and 15 per cent citing commercial radio.

The research was carried out by Crowd DNA and the sample size for this part of the survey was said to be 3,885 people who used local media each week.

Overall the Loving Local survey had a sample size of just under 5,000 follows a similar-sized survey which the NS carried out three years ago called Local Matters.

According to the new survey, 73 per cent of respondents said that local media fuels local pride (compared with 19 per cent citing the internet, 12 per cent TV and nine per cent commercial radio). Some 74 per cent said that local media informs their community (compared with 32 per cent citing the internet, 12 per cent TV and nine per cent commercial radio).

Overall the survey suggests the recession and economic downturn has provided a boost to peoples’ sense of community.

Comparing its 2011 and 2008 surveys, the NS said that 82 per cent of Britons now feel proud of the area they live in (compared with 71 per cent in 2008) and 78 per cent see their area as a good place to bring up children (compared with 72 per cent).

The research, which is intended to persuade ad agencies that local newspapers and their websites are a good place to spend money, found that 92 per cent of Britons spend more than half of their money with 10 miles of their front door and 93 per cent spend more than half their time within 10 miles of their house.

Whereas 32 per cent said the country as a whole is improving – 70 per cent said their local area is improving.

Newspaper Society marketing director Robert Ray said: ‘There are now 1200 local newspapers in the UK with 1400 associated websites. They collectively deliver unrivalled reach into local communities across the UK.

‘Since we launched Local Matters in 2008, there have been significant changes in Britain – recession, a change in government and the continued proliferation of emergent media channels.”

He said that the new research suggests that ‘as a nation we are loving local more than before and at the same time loving local media”.

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