Newspapers, public notices maintain popularity in ND
The buzz these days is all about online devices, but North Dakotans interested in their communities still turn to newspapers for reliable information, a new study shows.
It also reveals that North Dakotans are perfectly happy with newspapers as the primary carrier of public notices from local and state government entities.
The study reveals that local newspapers are read every day in 61 percent of the state’s households. Newspapers are read every week in nearly 82 percent of households, and at least once a month in 92 percent of households.
"That pretty much debunks the popular narrative that newspapers are dead," said Harvey Brock, president of the North Dakota Newspaper Association and publisher of The Dickinson Press.
"They’re not even dying."
Brock said readership of newspaper content has never been higher. Some news consumers read it in print, others on newspaper web sites. But they’re reading it, he said.
A variety of national studies, including the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, have found that most original news reporting is done by newspaper reporters, though blogs and social media have siphoned revenues from print publications. But Pew found that blogs and social media provide very little original reporting.
"Newspapers still are the number one source for information that is vital to the communities they serve," Brock said.
That includes public notices.
NDNA’s research shows that twice as many North Dakotans prefer to get public notices from newspapers than from online sources, and that they’re almost twice as likely to look for public notices in newspapers than online.
The numbers: 42 percent prefer to receive public notices in the newspaper, 35 percent prefer to get them in the mail, and just 11 percent prefer the internet. As for where they are most likely to look for public notices, more than 58 percent said newspapers and 33 percent said government web sites.
Those numbers are consistent with a new national survey conducted for the National Newspaper Association. That survey found that 81 percent of Americans read public notices in newspapers, and more than half read public notices "somewhat" to "very" often.
The North Dakota study was conducted for NDNA by Pulse Research Inc. of Portland, Ore.