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Pew Report: How people get local news and information in different communities

From large urban areas to rural communities, Americans often report similarly high levels of interest in news. Still, a national survey shows that community differences emerge in the number and variety of local news sources people use in different types of communities, as well as their degree of “local news participation” through social media and their mobile news consumption.

A new report from the Pew Research Center shows that many of the differences in local news consumption emerging from these data reflect the varying demographic compositions of different community types (urban, suburban, small town, and rural communities) in the U.S. Some differences in the platforms people use might also be tied to the lower overall use of the internet and mobile platforms in small towns and rural areas. Some of the key findings include:

  • Across the four community types, residents report similarly high levels of general interest in news, attention to local news, and interest in most specific local topics
  • Across the four community types, residents also report similarly high levels of interest in most of the 16 specific local topics asked about
  • Residents of different community types differ in the sources they rely on for their local news
  • Urban and suburban residents on average use more sources of local news than their small town and rural counterparts and are more likely to consume local news on mobile devices
  • The most active “local news participators” also tend to reside in suburban and urban communities
  • Rural residents are the least likely to say it is “easier” to keep up with local news and information today than it was five years ago

The entire article is available at

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