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New survey: 7-in-10 read their local newspaper

JACKSON, Miss. – More than seven in 10 Mississippi adults read a printed daily, Sunday or weekly newspaper during an average week according to a new study announced Friday by the Mississippi Press Association and conducted by American Opinion Research of Princeton, NJ.

"This is equal to 1.5 million consumers, or about half of the entire population," said MPA-MPS President James E. Prince, III, president of Prince Newspaper Holdings, Inc., and publisher and editor of The Neshoba Democrat and Madison County Journal. "The data in this report confirm what we have long believed about our publications: Mississippi newspapers are the primary source for news and adverting information in our state."

The Advertising and Media Use Survey was conducted through interviews with a random sampling of Mississippi adults in April.

AOR CEO Anthony Casale said the results show a particular affinity for print newspapers among Mississippi readers.

"These are some of the strongest results we have seen," said Casale, whose company has conducted readership surveys nationwide.

Other key findings from the survey, which will be released in its entirety the week of June 3, include:

• Newspaper readership in Mississippi is stronger among younger adults (18-34) than seen in most states. More than seven in 10 (72%) younger adults access a printed newspaper or a newspaper website weekly.

• Newspapers are a stronger local news source in Mississippi than in many states; nationally, television is perceived by adults to be a better source.

• Newspaper ties for the lead with local TV, both at 40%. The next most chosen source of news is National TV (5%).

• Almost six in 10 (57%) say printed newspapers are the one local advertising source they rely on most.

• Almost nine in 10 (87%) say keeping the public informed through legal advertising in newspapers is an important requirement for government agencies.

Mississippi adults would be much less likely to read legal notices if they were eliminated from newspapers and made available only online on government websites. More than six in 10 (61%) would read legal advertisements less; almost four in 10 (35%) would read them much less often.

Almost half of Mississippi Internet users (45%) visit a local newspaper website during an average month.

"These results point out the strength and vitality of newspapers in Mississippi and, indeed, across the nation," said Layne Bruce, executive director of the Mississippi Press Association. "The survey underscores the deep faith Mississippians place in their local newspaper as a reliable source of information important to them."

Click here to a summary of the findings in the report.

For more information, contact:
Layne Bruce, Executive Director
Mississippi Press Association
601-981-3060, x229


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