• Loddon Herald

Survey backs newspapers

MORE than half of people who do not read local newspapers believe they are essential to their communities, a national survey has found.

Findings from the survey show that 64.5 per cent of respondents considered a

printed copy of a local newspaper an essential service to their communities.

The research targeted participants in areas that were being served by independent local newspapers within the Country Press Australia network.

Deakin University Associate Professor Kristy Hess, who is leading the research, said: “The fact that social media users examined here (in the latest survey) also indicate a preference for print is perhaps especially profound.”

CPA executive director Bruce Morgan said the survey results were not surprising and reinforced the mood of many regional communities.

“It is not just about the survival of local independent (newspaper) businesses, but that it is fundamental to community well-being, and to basic democratic notions of accountability within those communities,” he said.

The surveys are part of a three-year project supported by CPA.

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