regional newspapersby Michelle Gilmore

It was with great sadness that we learnt of the demise of the Range News, a weekly publication with a long history in our area.

As we produce another bumper issue we want to assure locals that HT is going strong. In fact in a survey of 1,440 readers in the Think Local – News Media Research Report, our sector has almost twice the trust of television and radio.

For the last two months, we have worked hard to include more news online – through our website and Facebook page. So now you will find new articles throughout the month (more HT!).

Unlike syndicated papers, you’ll find only local news items here  – many of which you haven’t read before – about local events, local people and local business.

As an independent we don’t have to rely on syndicated articles and ads like the larger players do.

Our local team members and dynamic creatives ensure a top quality product, and we know from the comments we receive after every issue that our readers agree.

More than half of the report’s respondents considered regional newspapers and their websites as a trusted source of information.

Enhanced Media Metrics Australia report that regional news media reaches four million residents in regional Australia.

The report was commissioned by The Newspaper Works*, CEO Mark Hollands said, “The sector has a unique and valuable role in communities. Readers have an intimate relationship with their local paper that creates a highly effective advertising environment.

“This campaign seeks to confirm the influential role of regional news media to both readers and advertisers.

“Readers overwhelmingly turn to their local newspaper to stay informed about issues affecting their area, events in their region and to get practical, relevant information.”

The report also found that 54% of people ranked regional newspapers as their most trusted source of information, followed by television at 29%, radio at 27% and online search at 18%.

Regional newspapers were also the most engaging source of information, with readers 1.4 times more likely to find their regional newspaper more engaging than TV, 1.6 times that of radio and 2.9 that of letterbox dropped catalogues and flyers.

HT normally focuses on events coming up – but if your community group needs a voice, please contact us. We will do everything we can to help you get the word out about your club or organisation.

It is also good news for small business.

When it comes to providing information about their local communities and how to find businesses and services in their area, regional newspapers outperformed every other media at 77%.

This compares with just 30% for radio, 24% for catalogues/flyers and 22% for television. In addition, regional newspapers ranked Number One for influencing shopping and buying behaviour at 37%.

Regional news media readers are more likely to be high income earners, with one in three earning $80,000 or more per annum, making newspapers a source of high-value customers.

The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, released last September, found that newspapers were also the most trusted medium for ads.

*Conducted online by Research Now from 26 November to 14 December 2015