Television is the most trusted source of Local News for Regional Australians, according to research by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Television is the most preferred sources of local news (34%) with Print Media and Commercial Television both tieing on 21%.
The research found 86% of regional residents believe local news is important and 87% are satisfied with its overall quality.
But while older regional Australians prefer traditional sources, younger regional Australians have significantly increased their use of and preference for online sources such as websites and social media.
“There are interesting findings about where regional Australians go to access local news,” said acting ACMA Chairman Richard Bean.
“For example the proportion of regional Australians using social media (18%) and websites (26%) to access local news has significantly increased since 2013.
“The 2017 report also presents new findings on the availability of, and preferences for, local news, sport, weather and community events, with a particular focus on the way age influences how regional Australians access local news,” he added.
The research found Regional Australians are more likely to enjoy access to local content in areas where commercial television local content obligations are in place.
Trust in local news:
Most trusted: Commercial TV (21 per cent)
ABC: ABC TV (10 per cent), local ABC radio (15 per cent)
Online: Social media (four per cent), websites (nine per cent).
Reliability for late-breaking local news:
Most reliable: Commercial TV (24 per cent)
ABC: ABC TV (eight per cent), local ABC radio (14 per cent)
Online: Social media (12 per cent), websites (14 per cent).
Local content is defined as material that is produced in, is hosted in or relates to a local area, as well as material that is associated with or affects people, organisations, events or issues in a local area (local news, local sport, local weather and material related to local business activities and local community events).
Regional Australians’ access to local content—Community research (Community research report)
Regional Australian television news—Audiences across regional evening news services, 2003–16 (Regional TAM report)
Availability of local content in regional Australia—Case studies (Case study report).