87% of Americans are Satisfied with Their Local News Coverage
STAMFORD, Conn. – According to a new Spectrum News/Morning Consult poll* on sentiments about and trust of local news, the vast majority of Americans (87%) are satisfied with the coverage of local news in their community, and 83% find local news coverage on television and radio to be most trustworthy. Overall, sentiment that local news provides people with important information about their community, as well as critical national news, was high, with 77% in agreement. And, 72% of respondents agreed that local news helps enact positive change in their local community, while 63% feel local news holds businesses and government accountable.
Additionally, the poll found Americans overwhelmingly cited television (48%) as the most important source for local news, and more than half of Americans (62%) watch local news on television daily. 17% of Americans rank social media as the most important news source, and 40% seek local news daily from news apps. Of Americans, 9% rank newspapers as the most important source for local news.
“We have long known that investing in local journalism empowers and strengthens communities, and this poll demonstrates the vital role we play in the communities we serve,” said Mike Bair, Executive Vice President, Spectrum Networks. “Over the past few years, we have steadily expanded our reach by launching digital newsrooms in more communities and enhancing our Spectrum News App, along with further investments in our existing newsrooms, making local journalism more accessible to the people who want and need it most. The health of our communities—and by extension, our politics, economy, and cultural life – depends on it.”
Additional detailed findings:
Trust in local news is strong; Americans are satisfied with their local news coverage:
- Eight in 10 Americans find local television, radio and newspapers to be trustworthy. Television and radio are the most trusted (83%), with social media (46%) ranking as the least trustworthy.
- More than three quarters of Americans (80%) feel satisfied with the choices of news outlets in their area. While the majority look to television for their local news (62%) daily, 42% also get their local news daily from digital news alerts, and 40% of Americans seek local news directly from a news app on their smartphone.
- In general, people feel more satisfied with their local news coverage because they are more familiar with local anchors in their community, 77% of respondents said they feel reporters who live in their local community are more connected to relevant local news and information, and 82% feel local news reporters are trusted.
Majority of Americans rely on television for local news:
- Americans rank television as the most important source for local news. An overwhelming 48% of respondents listed TV as the most important source compared to the second-ranked source, social media at 17%, followed by websites and apps at 14%, while only 9% found newspapers as an important source, with 20% considering it the least important.
- The vast majority of Americans (91%) appreciate that their cable provider offers a local news channel, with 85% saying they value the local news coverage provided.
- More than half of Americans (62%) watch local news on television daily, while 55% typically watch national news. Only 19% typically look to their printed local newspaper for news on a daily basis, while 15% seek printed national newspapers.
- Television is highly viewed as a trusted source for local news on both sides of the political aisle (91% Democrats, 79% Republicans), while trust in social media among Democrats drops to 50%, and among Republicans to 44%.
Consumers have a different narrative on the state of local news; Majority of Americans do not feel deprived of news coverage in their area:
- There is a strong sentiment among Americans (89%) that local news keeps them informed about what is happening in their community, with 80% of respondents in agreement that they have access to local news coverage.
- Nearly nine in 10 Americans are satisfied with the local news coverage in their area, while 83% say they are satisfied with the quality of local news coverage they currently receive, and 81% feel satisfied with the amount of coverage.
- The poll also looked at the extent to which “news deserts”** impact consumers, finding that 54% of Americans do not feel they reside in a “news desert,” and even those who feel they live in a “news desert” do not feel worse about the quality of the coverage (76%) or that they do not have enough coverage in their area (71%).
- Overall satisfaction for local news coverage is very strong among those who feel they reside in a “news desert” (81%) compared to Americans as a whole (87%).
- Familiarity with the academic term “news desert” is low, with 60% of Americans having never heard of the term. While 17% of respondents said they are familiar with the term, only 3% said they are extremely familiar.
*The poll was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Spectrum Networks from June 17 to July 11, 2022. 5,000 adults were surveyed in the United States, which were the primary focus and target of this report. An additional 7,232 adults were surveyed in 13 different markets (New York City, Upstate New York, Worcester, MA, North Carolina, Orlando / Tampa FL, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Dallas / Austin / San Antonio / El Paso, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, Maine, Hawaii, and St. Louis, MO) in order to review metrics in those particular markets. These markets were sampled and weighted independently of the 5,000 adults, and are not included in the topline results unless explicitly stated. Interviews were conducted online and the data weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race and region. Results have a margin error of +/- 2 percentage points.
** A “news desert” is defined as an area (rural or urban) this is not or no longer covered by daily or non-daily local comprehensive news and information for their community.
About Spectrum Networks
Spectrum Networks is a series of 24/7 news and sports networks owned and operated by Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 32 million customers in 41 states. Spectrum Networks carry distinct, comprehensive, and exclusive local programming on over 30 networks across Charter’s footprint. More information on Spectrum Networks is available at spectrumlocalnews.com.