Recent reports from Pulse Research, Inc. show that most people read their local community newspaper for information about local politicians and their campaigns (July 2010). 53% respondents said newspapers are their primary source compared to just 22.4% for television. Radio, the Internet and direct mail only received 12.2% combined!
The most recent Media Audit report shows the cume audience “past year voted in local, state, national election” of the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune nearly doubles that of the two local TV news stations (June 2009). Add the 30 other newspapers, which have avid readers within the two TV news signals, and newspapers are clearly the distinct leader in reaching likely Mid-Missouri voters.
Scarborough reports relating to The Kansas City Star have similar results (2009). None of the four local network television stations in Kansas City come anywhere close to the reach of The Star – in PRIMETIME! Kansascity.com is even 36% higher than the nearest local tv website, beating it by more than 100,000 adults.
St. Louis? Running a spot on every newscast on KSDK for an entire week would reach 676,800 (41%) of Missouri voters in the St. Louis DMA. (How many Illinois voters do they reach? Illinois voters who can’t vote in Missouri.) You’d reach TWICE THAT many Missouri voters running in the Post-Dispatch, Suburban Journals & STLtoday.com for a week (1,107,100 or 67%). Scarborough 2009.
And, don’t forget the many community weekly, community daily, and niche newspapers that round out the metro- and non-metro areas of Missouri. Our state has more than 300 newspapers.
So the question remains, why do politicians and advocacy groups dump the largest portion of their budgets into a medium that is barely half as effective as newspapers?
Voters read newspapers.