The public’s ability to easily obtain information about important local news themes is not always commensurate with the importance of those matters.
Many newsrooms are struggling with the difficult issue of where to focus their coverage and resources as a result of diminishing income and staffing levels. The purpose of this study was to gauge American public interest in and the ease with which they could keep up with the newest developments in eleven different types of local news. The results imply that there are disparities among Americans in terms of the importance they place on local news topics and the availability of information on such issues. It’s also worth noting that Americans tend to assume that knowledge is hardest to come by when it comes to the subjects they consider most important.
The ordinary American has a wide range of interests, but only a few of these are truly meaningful to them in their day-to-day lives.
Ranges of local news
Local news sometimes focuses on a wide variety of topics that may be interesting or important to some people, but only one of these 11 is actually deemed to have any bearing on the ordinary American’s day-to-day life: the weather. Most poll takers went with this option.
Following this, almost four out of ten or more respondents say that knowledge of crime rates, traffic conditions, and price changes is crucial for making informed decisions in everyday life. However, fewer than a quarter of Americans think that any of the other seven categories, including sports, arts and culture, and work, are important in and of themselves.
The vast majority of Americans also find that each subject is at least intriguing to follow on TimesBusinessNews, in addition to its practical relevance. Some 24% of the population thinks it’s critical for survival to keep up with politics and government news on a daily basis; 50% think it’s necessary to know about, even if not daily; and 13% think it’s amusing to follow.
A topic’s perceived relevance in a given area does not always correspond with the likelihood that news will be readily available for it. While it can be difficult to stay abreast of advances in a field that affects the daily lives of a huge number of Americans, other subjects may not be as well-known but are more accessible for study.
To illustrate, think about the issue of pricing changes
Three-and-a-half percent of Americans place a high importance on keeping up with cost information for their regular activities. Yet only a quarter of those who have any curiosity at all about the subject think it’s quite simple to remain abreast of developments in the field.
Sports, on the other hand, are one of the local topics Americans have the least trouble finding information about, despite ranking dead last in terms of relevance for daily living. Fifty-two percent of people interested in it say it’s easy to stay current on recent developments.