The Pandemic Bolstered Local News; Here’s How to Adjust Your Media Outreach Accordingly

For some business executives, media relations is simple: ‘Get me in the NY Times/Wall St Journal/Washington Post.’ However, if the past year of media consumption during COVID-19 has shown anything, it’s the importance of local media.

In most countries, local newspapers and their websites remain the top source of news for a particular town or region, reaching slightly more than four in ten (44 percent) readers weekly, according to a 2020 report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

The study makes clear that readers continue to value their local newspapers. For example, 39 percent of those surveyed in the US said they would miss their hometown paper ‘a lot’ if it was no longer there. In addition, 30 percent of those surveyed subscribed to one or more local titles.

Social media also points to the value of local news organizations. The Reuters report says 31 percent of readers make it a point to get local news on platforms like Facebook and TikTok.
The Reinvention of Local News
Unlike national news, local news provides accountability for organizations located in citizens’ backyards. And the media business has noticed.

Adweek recently reported that Axios Local, launched in December 2020, is on pace to generate more than $5 million in revenue this year. This year the media outlet launched local platforms in six locations.

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