Regional newspapers most trusted among consumers as APN divests

As APN News and Media prepares to sell off its regional papers, a new report commissioned by The Newspaper Works has found that regional newspapers are the most trusted source of information in regional Australia, as chosen by 54 per cent of respondents. The Think Local – Regional News Media Report, conducted by Research Now, asked 1440 people to rate their local newspaper against other news sources. Newspaper scored far higher than any other medium at 54 per cent, television followed scoring 29 percent, radio scored 27 per cent, and 18 per cent of respondents considered an online search the most trustworthy source. In terms of audience engagement, regional newspapers outranked the competition. The report found readers were 1.4 times more likely to find their regional newspaper more engaging than television, and 1.6 times that of radio.

Think Local report: regional newspapers most trusted

Think Local report: regional newspapers most trusted

Commenting on the report, The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands says, “Regional newspapers continue to play a valuable role, and this research confirms that communities have a close and trusting relationship with their paper, which creates a highly effective advertising environment. “Readers also overwhelmingly turn to their local newspaper to stay informed about issues affecting their area, events in their region and to get practical, relevant information.” The results come after APN News and Media reported a $10m loss in the company’s 2015 full year results, and a 27 per cent profit drop in its Australian Regional Media (ARM). Following the results, APN chief executive Ciaran Davis announced the company would sell off ARM. Davis told investors, “Despite having reduced the cost base of ARM by $40m over the past three years, the business has maintained stable audiences and grown its digital footprint through delivery of greater digital content. “Pursuing this digital growth strategy will, however, require further investment, particularly in fast tracking the digitisation and monetisation of its loyal and local audiences. APN has been a long term supporter of regional publishing in Australia however, our future investments must remain focused on growth assets and opportunities.” According to the Think Local report, regional newspapers also outperformed ever other media in providing information to local communities, including businesses and services in their area, scoring 77 per cent. This compares with just 30 per cent for radio, 24 per cent for catalogues, and 22 per cent for television. The Newspaper Works is a not for profit industry body established to advocate the cultural and commercial value of newspapers in Australia. It was founded in 2006 by Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia, APN News & Media and Seven West Media.  

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