More than 80 per cent of readers trust local news as audiences grow

A total of 40 million people across the country are said to read local news online and also in local newspapers, research has revealed.

The figures come from JICREG Trust Local and a survey from Newsworks/OnePoll shows that 81 per cent of people agree that they trust news and information published on their local websites and newspapers, a rise of seven per cent since 2018.

Now publishers have called on advertisers to divert more spend into trusted local media as government ad spend with the tech platforms dwarfs spend in local news media, despite its huge reach and high levels of public trust.

The revelations have been seen today (Thursday, January 19) across a number of online sites and newspapers.

NMA chief executive Owen Meredith said: “Local news media is highly trusted and reaches huge audiences in communities right across the UK – a powerful combination for advertisers large and small.

“As one of the largest advertisers in the UK, government must urgently divert a much higher proportion of ad spend to local news media which delivers so much benefit to the public through its investment in trusted local journalism.”

Audiences spiked during the coronavirus pandemic as the local news sector played a critical role in keeping communities informed, both through local journalism and advertising campaigns.

And Craig Smith, GroupM trading director, added: “At a time of economic volatility, it is more important than ever for advertisers and media agencies to make the wisest possible choices when allocating media spend.

“As a highly trusted platform with growing scale, local media ticks all the boxes for boosting businesses. Advertisers and media agencies must ensure that they are making full use of this unique and powerful medium.”

Russell Cook, editorial director for said: “We have a dedicated amount of readers who go to our website on a daily basis for their local news who trust and rely on its accuracy and balance which demonstrates the reliability found in this research.”

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