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Pew Study: Local News Still Deeply Important To Communities

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 09/26/11 02:01 PM ET Updated: 11/26/11 05:12 AM ET

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The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism released a study on Monday with some intriguing new facts about how people rely on local news.

The study found that 64% of American adults use at least three different types of media weekly to get news and information about their local community. Researchers surveyed over 2000 adults age 18 and older about where they get their news on 16 different local topics including breaking news, local politics, arts/culture events, weather, taxes and more.

They found that "age is the most influential demographic" that determines where people get news about their community. Older generations depend on traditional news sources like newspapers and television. For adults under the age of 40, "the web ranks first or ties for first for 12 of the 16 local topics asked about," Pew said.

Of all the different local topics discussed, researchers found that the weather (89%) and breaking news (80%) are the most popular topics that participants seek information about. Participants were least interested in news about jobs (39%), social services (35%) and zoning/building (30%).

However, the study also revealed that, even though people relied on their local news, most said that if their local paper folded, it would not have a major impact on their ability to get news and information about their community. This is somewhat contrary to the data, which demonstrates that local newspapers are first or tie for first for where participants turn in 11 of the 16 different local topics.

For the full study, click here.

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