News and local news in particular are the main reasons that people continue to subscribe to their local newspapers.
Doing so out of habit doesn’t figure prominently but seeking incentives through coupons does. This makes local newspapers particularly vulnerable to the rapidly rising popularity of social media coupons through sites such as Groupon and Living Social.
So while local newspapers delivered online have been less than successful, the paper variety still pulls the punters; the question is, for how long?
And if you were a local newspaper columnist now might be the time to look for another job as the obituary column is proving more popular than you are.
The observant amongst you may also have noted that the percentages on the pie chart above add up to more than 100%. The reason given by the company reporting the result is that participants were allowed to choose more than one option.
The data was collected from a monthly Internet survey of 1,000 households conducted for Ad Age by Ipsos Observer.
Local journalism has embraced digital media and the opportunities that this presents. Take for example Tackable, a free app for iPad, which has been up and running since the start of the year in San Francisco.
People take smartphone photos of the interesting things they see, which get placed on a live map. Newspaper reporters and editors create photo assignments, directing the action and article get written faster with better content.
As co-founder Luke Stange described in the recent interview belo: “Imagine cutting up your newspaper into ten thousand little pieces and putting the best of the best on a map…and also bringing in community… what your neighbors are talking about.”
The future of local news is looking more exciting (and literally) by the minute.