Regional Australians report that television (34%) and print media (21%) are their most preferred sources of local news, with commercial television being the most trusted (21%), according to Australian Communications and Media Authority research released today.
Local content in regional Australia – 2017 report also shows that 86% of regional residents believe local news is important and 87% are satisfied with its overall quality.
“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.
Older regional Australians use and prefer traditional sources such as television, newspapers and radio for local content and local news, while younger regional Australians have significantly increased their use of and preference for online sources such as websites and social media.
Regional Australians are more likely to report having access to all the local content they would like in areas where commercial television local content obligations are in place.
The research consolidates findings from three complementary reports undertaken over the past 12 months (as well as building on ACMA research from 2013):
• 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).
The findings will be presented as part of the ACMA’s Australian content conversation, on 16 and 17 May at the International Conference Centre, Sydney.