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Americans Trust Local News Media Over National Outlets

June 12th, 2017   ||    by Callie Wheeler   ||    No Comments

According to a study released today, Americans trust local news media more than its national counterpart. A 2016 Gallup poll revealed that U.S. media outlets are facing historically low levels of public trust. And this new study sheds light on a naturally occurring question: With trust so low, just where are consumers getting their news information?

Local News Is King

The study, sponsored by Videa, found that of the 1,145 Americans surveyed, 61 percent put some level of trust in the information their local news organizations share. This finding stands in contrast with Gallup’s number for overall public trust in media, which came in at 32 percent last year.

And what about preference between national and local news? The study found that 62 percent of respondents trust local news media more than national, whereas only 38 percent trust national news sources more.

Trust—on TV

For those surveyed who expressed at least some trust in local news media, the key factors were reliability and relevance. Respondents found local news sources easier to verify, more truthful, and more relevant overall. Of those who said they trust local media over national, the driving factor was a perceived lack of bias in local news, with one-third saying local news lacks a political agenda.

The percentage of respondents who said they view local news content on television somewhat or very often—at 59 percent—was higher than those who answered similarly about social media (38 percent), print media (36 percent), and local radio (36 percent).

Additional Insights

The study provided insight into other areas as well. Only 39 percent of the consumers surveyed indicated any level of comfort with advertisers collecting smart TV data—and 48 percent indicated levels of discomfort. People were also more likely to say they were completely uncomfortable—at 21 percent of respondents—compared to any other response.

Additionally, the survey found that when considering cord-cutting, consumers would miss live programming and their favorite programs foremost, followed by weather, sports, and a specific news channel.

While Global News reports that 69 percent of Canadians have some trust in mainstream news media, Americans are another story. The Videa-sponsored study highlights the importance of reaching U.S. consumers where they are—and right now, that’s local news media television.

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