Thursday, July 4, 2013
Readership high in state
Community newspapers have long been a part of my life.
I still have clippings at my house from my hometown newspaper – stories highlighting some of my high school sports days.
I remember back then, anxiously awaiting the newspaper each week.
Then I got hooked on writing and decided to make a career out of newspaper work.
In 2013, 34 years after I graduated high school in Hamilton, Ala., community newspapers are still strong.
One of the highlights of the recent Mississippi Press Association Convention was results of a new study announced by the MPA and conducted by American Opinion Research of Princeton, N.J.
MPA President Jim Prince took every opportunity to plug the positive results.
The new study finds more than seven in 10 Mississippi adults read a printed daily, Sunday or weekly newspaper during an average week.
That’s equal to 1.5 million consumers, or about half of the entire population, according to Prince.
“The data in this report confirm what we have long believed about our publications – Mississippi newspapers are the primary source for news and advertising information in our state,” he said.
The Advertising and Media Use Survey was conducted through interviews with a random cellphone and landline sampling of Mississippi adults in April.
American Opinion Research CEO Anthony Casale said the results show a particular affinity for print newspapers among Mississippi readers.
“These are some of the strongest results we have seen,” said Casale, whose company has conducted readership surveys nationwide.
There were other key findings in the survey.
• Newspaper readership in Mississippi is stronger among younger adults (18-34) than seen in most states. More than seven in 10 (72 percent) younger adults access a printed newspaper or a newspaper website weekly.
• Newspapers are a strong local news source in Mississippi than in many states; nationally, television is perceived by adults to be a better source.
• Newspapers tied for the lead with local TV, both at 40 percent. The next most chosen source of news is national TV (5 percent).
• Almost six in 10 (57 percent) say printed newspapers are the one local advertising source they rely on most.
• Almost nine in 10 (87 percent) say keeping the public informed through legal advertising in newspapers is an important requirement for government agencies.
• Almost half of Mississippi Internet users (45 percent) visit a local newspaper website during an average month.
“These results point out the strength and vitality of newspapers in Mississippi and, indeed, across the nation,” said Layne Bruce, executive director of the Mississippi Press Association. “The survey underscores the deep faith Mississippians place in their local newspapers.”
That deep faith is obvious here – from the readers of The South Reporter.
Last week I ran a delivery route again on Wednesday.
It’s always worth it, as I greet good folks and see newspapers selling as soon I put them in racks.
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