The Pew Research Center has just released its latest report,
“Local News in a Digital Age,” which:
…takes a microscope to the information streams in three news environments across the United States: Denver, Colorado—a highly educated urban area of more than 2 million with internet adoption above the national average and a large Hispanic population (19%); Macon, Georgia—a metro area of 175,000 with a substantial share of black residents (41%), an unemployment rate above the national average, and a local university working to serve as a hub for journalism innovation; and Sioux City, Iowa—a city that spans three states and has a predominantly white population of just 125,000. These cities are not meant to be extrapolated to the United States as a whole, but rather serve as a set of case studies on the ebb and flow of daily local news that speak to the diversity of modern American cities.
Pew breaks the results out into several distinct mini reports:
- Local News Interest High Across the Board; Specific Habits Vary
- Race and Ethnicity in the Local News Ecosystem
- Digital Differences Across Local Communities
- Engagement in and Satisfaction with One’s City Connect to Stronger News Habits
- Facebook and Twitter—New but Limited Parts of the Local News System
- Legacy Outlets Drive the News Agenda, but Specialty Providers Diversify the Ecosystem
- The News Environment in Denver, Colorado
- The News Environment in Macon, Georgia
- The News Environment in Sioux City, Iowa
Some of Pew’s major findings include:
- One of the greatest disparities occurs not across metro areas, but within them: that of race and ethnicity.
- In all three cities, some local entities outside of journalism, particularly within government, are using the Web in part to serve as news providers.
- Citizens are a part of the news process but mainly as quoted sources or as disseminators of news in social media.