From the USA comes a new report from the Pew Research Center entitled ‘How People Learn About Their Local Community‘. Whilst based on the US population the report data is likely to generally reflect most ‘first world’ nations.
Apparently ‘more Americans report watching local TV news than any other source’, but this is for a few topics such as ‘weather, breaking news, and to a lesser degree, traffic’. From the report it is clear that age is the most influential demographic of media usage, and whilst the Internet is employed across all age ranges, the under 40 group make greater use of it with regard to many areas, with government just being one of them. The over 40 group apparently use the Internet only for discovering local business and restaurant information. This also expresses a demographic for the use of local radio where those under forty only use it for traffic information, whilst those over obtain wider information, including news and politics. This clearly indicates the current need to maintain information delivery across all media, in order to contact all citizens.
The media other than the Internet are obviously going to have to work hard to capture the younger audience, whilst the reverse is true of the Internet media providers, including government, who have a major task to pull in those over 40.