Small town, rural Americans rely on local paper: survey

Sep 26, 2012
A man reads a newspaper in a park. Americans in small towns and rural areas rely more on newspapers and television for local news than their big-city counterparts, a survey showed Wednesday.

Americans in small towns and rural areas rely more on newspapers and television for local news than their big-city counterparts, a survey showed Wednesday.

Newspapers are especially important for civic information to rural and small-town residents, who are the most concerned about what would happen if the local paper disappeared, the Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found.

Urban residents use a wider combination of platforms for news including Internet searches, Twitter, blogs and the websites of local TV stations and newspapers.

Suburban residents use a mix of media sources similar to that of urbanites, but rely more on radio, the study showed, possibly for information on commuting times

Urban and suburban residents were also the most likely to get news via mobile devices.

The survey found 61 percent of small town residents would be concerned if their local newspaper disappeared, compared with 54 percent of urban residents.

Large city residents also show less willingness than those in other communities to pay for content. Just 22 percent of city dwellers had a paid subscription to a local compared with 40 percent for those in the suburbs and 33 percent for small town residents, Pew found.

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