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Report: Local newspapers most trusted and popular source of local news, but Facebook gaining ground

By Dominic Ponsford

Local newspapers remain by the far most trusted and popular source of local news, according to a YouGov survey.

But Facebook appears to be growing in popularity as a source of local news.

The report, commissioned Havas PR UK (their infographic above), was based on a survey of more than 2,000 Britons and found that Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform – with 60 per cent planning to use it over the the next two years.

But it also found that a significant minority, 30 per cent, don’t plan to use any social media platform.

Nigel Hughes, board director at Havas PR, said:?? “There’s no doubting the importance of local print media, hence their number one position of trust for the second year running. Yet social media is making its way into a position of more influence locally too."

When asked how they hear about local news, 63 per cent said local newspapers (versus 67 per cent in 2013). Some 41 per cent said local television (compared with 47 per cent a year earlier).

The research suggests that Facebook is a growing source of local news, with 27 per cent of respondents using it (versus 22 per cent in 2013) and some 11 per cent listed Twitter (versus 9 per cent a year earlier).

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Local newspapers were by far the most trusted local news source in the survey.

Asked how trustworthy they find various news sources, the following were said to be trustworthy:

  • Local newspapers: 64 per cent
  • Local television: 58 per cent
  • Local radio: 59 per cent
  • Noticeboards: 58 per cent
  • National TV: 43 per cent
  • Local gossip: 34 per cent
  • National newspapers: 27 per cent
  • Facebook: 21 per cent
  • Twitter: 15 per cent
  • Blogs: 14 per cent.

The survey also asked what social media platforms people expect to be on over the next two years:

  • Facebook: 60 per cent
  • Twitter: 26 per cent
  • LinedIn: 16 per cent
  • Google+: 9 per cent
  • Instagram: 7 per cent
  • Pinterest: 4 per cent
  • Not a member of any/won’t be a member of any: 30 per cent

Some nine per cent of those surveyed said they plan to leave Facebook within the next two years.

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