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Editor & Publisher reports data shows Americans increased their daily time with newspapers during the pandemic

By Bob Sillick, Editor & Publisher

When the pandemic struck, news was as essential to the public as the most important household items they were panic-buying at stores or online. Although TV viewership increased, especially local channels, more Americans also reached for a newspaper in many markets.

An April 2020 Pew Research Center survey found 61 percent of respondents were accessing national and local news about the pandemic equally; however, 23 percent were more focused on local news, compared to 15 percent on national news. Half of all participants of a June 2020 Pew survey said local news sources reported the facts more accurately than all news media in general, or 44 percent.

By definition, a pandemic is global in scale, but many Americans relied on local news to provide community information of critical and personal importance.

Local Coronavirus Topics Adults 18+ Were  Following “Very Closely” in Local News, April 2020

Local TopicPercent
State/Local government actions42%
Goods in local stores38%
Status of nearby schools30%
Status of nearby businesses29%
Availability of testing29%
Status of nearby hospitals28%
Availability of unemployment/aid25%

Source: Pew Research Center, April 2020

Read more: https://www.editorandpublisher.com/stories/data-shows-americans-increased-their-daily-time-with-newspapers-during-the-pandemic,181155?newsletter=181160

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