Urban, Suburban or Country News? Some Folks Are Just Old Fashioned…
You may see a city slicker reading a newspaper or a farmer working on his iPad, but that isn’t the norm.
Community news is important to people across the country, but how individuals prefer to access news varies depending on the type of community.
Urban residents: People who live in large cities rely on a wider combination of platforms for information than others and are more likely to get local news and information via a range of digital platforms, including internet searches, Twitter, blogs and the websites of local TV stations and newspapers. Urbanites are also the least tied to their communities in terms of how long they have lived in the community and how many people they know. They are the least interested of all groups in information about local taxes. At the same time, those who live in large cities, along with suburban residents, are the most likely to be digital “news participators” who email local stories to others, post material on social networking sites, comment on news stories online, or contribute to online discussions on message boards. Also along with suburbanites, they are more likely to get news via mobile devices. Additionally, urban residents are the most likely to rely on local TV news for information about breaking news, weather, crime, politics, and traffic.
Suburban residents: Those who live in suburban communities are more likely than others to rely on local radio as a platform (perhaps because of relatively longer commuting times); they are more interested than others in news and information about arts and cultural events; and they are particularly interested in getting information about local restaurants, traffic, and taxes. Like urbanites, they are heavy digital participators who comment on and share the news more so than residents of other community types. These suburban residents rely mainly on the internet for information about local restaurants, businesses, and jobs. They look to television news for weather and breaking news.
Small town residents: Along with rural residents, people who live in smaller towns are more likely to rely on traditional news platforms such as television and newspapers to get local news; newspapers are especially important to them for civic information. Small town Americans say they rely on the local newspaper for a long list of information—including local weather, crime, community events, schools, arts and culture, taxes, housing, zoning, local government and social services. Residents of smaller towns are also the most likely to worry about what would happen if the local newspaper no longer existed.
Rural residents: Those who live in rural communities generally are less interested in almost all local topics than those in other communities. The one exception is taxes. They are also more reliant on traditional platforms such as newspapers and TV for most of the topics we queried. And they are less likely than others to say it is easier now than it was five years ago to keep up with local information.
Of course, some differences in the platforms people use might also be tied to the lower overall use of the internet and mobile platforms in small towns and rural areas.