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Viewers rank local TV news in top tier of news sources, survey says
10/4/2006

More Americans choose local TV news as one of their top three sources for news than any other form of traditional or new media, according to the findings of a new survey.

The “Future of News Survey” conducted for the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation by Ball State University professor Bob Papper, found that 65.5 percent of respondents named local TV news, compared with 28.4 percent who named local newspapers and 28.3 percent who named national network TV news, as one of their top three sources for news. The Internet was one of the top three choices for 11.2 percent of those surveyed.

Other findings include:

  • National and international news rank second and third, just behind weather, in interest. Information about sports and entertainment ranked at the bottom.
  • More than 90 percent said it was very important or somewhat important for news to be right up to the minute. The public was most interested in urgent, breaking news, but some complained about the mislabeling of news that is neither urgent nor breaking.
  • People want to be able to watch news when it is convenient for them.
  • Two-thirds say they have never read a blog or don’t know what they are.
  • Less than 5 percent of the public has watched news on a small screen device, such as a mobile phone or handheld electronic device.
  • More than three-quarters of the public prefers to watch news on a TV set, rather than a computer or handheld electronic device, and more than 60 percent would like to perform on TV the functions they now perform on a computer. If given a choice of getting the same news whenever they want via any medium, the public also prefers to get news on television.
  • The public desires more interactivity with TV news. More than 40 percent of the public would like the ability to assemble their own newscasts. More than 60 percent would like to be able to push a button and get more information on screen about what they are watching.
  • The public perceives that business and advertisers have influence on TV news.

To read complete survey results and report, visit: www.rtnda.org/resources/future/index.shtml.

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