On The Record
Registered Sex Offenders for Edgefield
PO Box 972
Dr. Skip Myers
State and Federal
Local Political Parties
Chamber of Commerce
The Jail Report
New York Times
New York Post
Los Angeles Times
past articles please visit our Archives
Survey Says Readers Value Community Newspapers
By: Richard Eckstrom
web posted March 29, 2013
GUEST OPINION – Although our society is
becoming more and more plugged into the Internet, there are some things
the online universe cannot provide or substitute for us. This includes
the unique services provided to citizens by community newspapers.
Weekly and small daily papers help strengthen communities, build local
economies and report on local governments. Readers of community
newspaper understand and appreciate these services, too.
That fact is underscored in an annual survey taken by the National
Newspaper Association, which recently released its latest survey
“The numbers are self-evident,” said Merle Baranczyk, president of the
National Newspaper Association and publisher of a community newspaper
in Colorado. “They [responses] indicate the level of connectedness
people have with their community newspaper.”
“From year to year, the studies have shown that people believe in their
local papers, for the news they need and the advertising they rely on.”
With consolidation in the newspaper industry, the rise of the Internet
and even some papers shutting down, readers no doubt have heard much
about the death of community newspapers. But to borrow a phrase from
Mark Twain – rumors of the death of community papers are greatly
Consider the responses in the newspaper group’s latest survey, which
sampled newspaper readers in small towns and cities where the
circulation size of the local paper was 15,000 or less:
• 92 percent said they
thought local newspapers were informative.
said they looked forward to reading their local paper.
agreed that they relied on their local paper for local news
thought their local paper provided valuable advertising and
In some ways, as we move deeper into this new digital era, community
newspapers are becoming even more important.
That’s because they help foster something important that the Internet
and iPhones and iPads and all of the other newfangled gadgets cannot
provide – a feeling of community.
After all, it’s in the pages of community newspapers where folks can
read about civic club fundraisers, church gatherings, honor roll lists,
birthdays, family reunions, and other happenings that provide much of
the content of our day-to-day lives.
In this way, community newspaper readers enjoy a special connection to
their local paper – a relationship to it, if you will.
The responses to the newspaper group’s survey bear out these facts.
On average, respondents said they spend nearly 40 minutes reading
through their local paper. And nearly half said they hold onto it for
more than 10 days.
And unlike some of our other modern-day institutions, community
newspapers are trusted by those they serve.
About 70 percent of the survey participants said the accuracy and
coverage of their local paper is “good” or “excellent,” with 59 percent
saying the same about their paper’s fairness.
Thomas Jefferson once said that if he were left to decide whether we
should have a government without newspapers – or newspapers without a
government – he wouldn’t hesitate to choose the newspapers.
I think readers of today’s community newspapers understand the wisdom
of Jefferson’s words.
Richard Eckstrom, a CPA, is the comptroller general of South
and commander of the S.C. State Guard.
© Copyright 2012 - 2013 All material is property of
Edgefield Daily and/or parent company ECL and
cannot be reproduced,
redistributed without expressed written permission.