Small-town America depends more on traditional media than big-city residents

Pew Internet & American Life Project

Americans living in small towns are "the most likely to worry about what would happen if the local newspaper no longer existed," according to a new Pew Internet & American Life survey.

But even in those small towns, only 61 percent say there would be an impact if their local newspaper no longer existed. (Among big-city residents, only 54 percent would miss their local paper.)

That's one of many findings from a survey that compares the different media consumption habits and preferences among people living in big cities, suburbs, small cities or rural areas. (The survey was conducted in January 2011, but these findings were just released.)

Residents of big cities are "are particularly likely to get local news through Internet searches, Twitter, blogs, and websites of TV and newspapers," the survey says, while residents of small cities and rural areas are more likely to still rely solely on traditional print and broadcast media.

Meanwhile, residents of big cities and their suburbs are significantly more likely to "participate" in the news by commenting or sharing, and are more likely to get news on mobile devices. Nearly half of all big-city residents use a cell phone or iPad to "go online for information or news about their community."

Earlier: Americans rely on newspapers for local coverage of crime, community events, government (Poynter)

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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