New research released by Pew Research Center this week shows a significant connection between civic engagement and local news consumption, especially on TV and radio. In particular, Pew’s research found that Americans who always vote are much more likely to be tuned into local news sources than those less likely to vote. Among faithful voters, 52 percent followed local news closely versus 31 percent of those who don’t always vote. A number of those dedicated voters (38 percent) use several news sources multiple times a week, and their most popular sources are TV (63 percent), radio (44 percent), and newspapers (43 percent). Notably, use of social media, local newsletters, and local blogs for news did not differ greatly between committed and less likely voters. Pew is careful to point out in its findings that its research finds connections but does not inform as to whether civic engagement causes viewership or rather that viewership causes engagement. More of Pew’s study, conducted in association with John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is available here.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: November 4, 2016