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Home > News & Media > Press Center > Archives > 2012 > Newspaper readers vote, and voters read newspapers

Newspaper readers vote, and voters read newspapers

Key election study underscores American voters' media use

Marina Hendricks
Director of Communications
(571) 366-1009
marina.hendricks@naa.org

February 15, 2012

Arlington, Va. – A new survey of U.S. voters’ media use demonstrates the advantages newspaper media hold in connecting political advertisers – election campaigns and issues advocates – with registered American voters, the group most likely to vote. The American Voters Media Use Study, conducted by Moore Information, shows that 86 percent of registered voters read newspapers in print or online. Ninety-one percent of voters who contributed money to a campaign read online or print newspapers.

“Cutting across party affiliations and age groups, it’s clear that newspapers and their digital platforms provide a superior medium for advertising that supports election campaigns and drives awareness of the issues,” said Caroline Little, NAA president and CEO. “Whether measuring perceptions of trust and reliability or use of the medium’s digital and mobile platforms, newspapers have a clear advantage in reaching and motivating those highly likely to vote. Campaigns and advocates seeking effective advertising to reach their target audiences need look no further than the local newspaper.”

Key findings of the Moore Information study include:

  • Eighty-six percent of voters who cast ballots in the last local election read newspapers in print or online, with levels of engagement holding consistent among voters identifying as Republican, Democratic or Independent.
  • Engagement remains high even among young voters – 79 percent of voters ages 18 to 34 read newspapers in print or online.
  • Newspapers and their websites consistently outscore other media for being “reliable,” “accurate” and “in-depth” about local civic and political issues.
  • Newspaper political advertising is the least “annoying” of any medium. Fifty-four percent of voters rate local TV political ads as “annoying” – only 18 percent of voters say the same for local newspaper political ads.
  • Among voters who plan to use mobile devices for campaign and election news, 58 percent plan to turn to newspaper sources. That number rises to 62 percent among the 18-to-34 demographic.
  • Ninety-one percent of voters who contribute to campaigns read newspapers in print or online.

Moore Information, which specializes in opinion research for political campaigns, ballot measures, corporations, nonprofits and government agencies, conducted the American Voters Media Use Survey for the Newspaper Association of America among an online panel screened in from a nationally representative sample of 2,000 registered voters. Fieldwork was conducted early in 2012 after the New Hampshire primary and prior to the South Carolina primary.

A summary presentation on the American Voters Media Use Survey is available at www.naa.org/political.

About NAA

NAA is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 newspapers and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and Canada. NAA members include daily newspapers, as well as nondailies, other print publications and online products. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on the major issues that affect today's newspaper industry: public policy/legal matters, advertising revenue growth and audience development across the medium's broad portfolio of products and digital platforms. Information about NAA and the industry also may be found at www.naa.org.