Newspaper Sites Cut Into Other Media

A survey by Editor and Publisher found that the use of newspaper Web sites is cutting into the use of other forms of media.

The study of 53,000 Internet users from 75 different newspaper sites of all sizes found that the watching of videos took the biggest hit, with 35 percent of newspaper Web site users saying they now spend less time watching videos. Telephone use took the next biggest hit, with 30 percent spending less time on the phone. Broadcast and cable television (29 percent); listening to the radio (25 percent), and reading print newspapers (18 percent) also took hits.

The survey also found that local news is the most popular element of online newspapers, but readers give local coverage a low grade, averaging 4.5 out of 10 possible points.

Newspaper readers are also more likely give up reading a print version of a newspaper if they can get most of the same news from the Web site, according to the study.

Reasons for Visiting
Local Newspaper Sites
Local news 42%
Weather 40%
National news 39%
Classified ads 38%
Source: Editor & Publisher

Newspaper sites were cited as the second most popular reason that respondents logged onto the Internet (82 percent), trailing only email (91 percent). More than three-quarters (77 percent) of Web newspaper readers bookmark their favorite sites.

Seventy-two percent of the survey’s respondents go to Web pages for local news, 40 percent for weather, 39 percent for national news, and 38 percent for classified ads. Local news draws even more online readers at newspapers with a circulation less than 250,000, according to the survey.

More than 50 percent of the respondents do not go to local newspaper sites for national or international news, visiting national sites such as MSNBC and CNN.com instead.

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