Study: People Want Local News From Papers

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By: E&P Staff

Most Americans turn to newspapers when they want local news, according to a study from a pair of companies who fear new media-ownership rules will stifle local competition.

Newspapers were the primary source of local news for about 61% of respondents who participated in the study, which was released Thursday by the Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America. In second place was local television, with just 29%.

The groups feel that the Federal Communications Commission undervalued newspapers — and overstated the importance of the Internet and radio — when it relaxed its rules last year on media ownership and made it easier for companies to consolidate, Reuters reports.

“Relaxed ownership rules that allow dominant newspapers to combine with their most likely competitor — local broadcast television stations — are extremely dangerous to the goal of promoting diversity of viewpoints and competition for local news,” the study said.

The study comes about two weeks before a federal appeals court in Philadelphia will consider whether the rules are constitutional.

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