Community newspapers remain the best source of local news for most people, according to a research project carried out by telecommunications company 2degrees at the end of last year.
The survey of more than 2000 people found that 29 per cent of them rated local newspapers as most important for local news, despite the increase in communication technology.
Social media was the next most popular source, with 23 per cent. Former mayor of Waitakere Sir Bob Harvey said he couldn’t overstate the importance of community papers and local journalism in ensuring the health and wellbeing of NZ communities.
“Community papers provide channelled advocacy of important local issues in a way that isn’t mirrored simply by residents chatting on a community Facebook page,” he said. “They also champion issues and stories that would escape the attention of the mainstream media.”
2degrees chief executive Stewart Sherriff said the research provided “interesting reading”.
“As a telco, we’re deeply interested in how Kiwis communicate, and where they get their information from,” he said.
“The role of the community paper in informing, supporting and championing our communities is obviously something many Kiwis still hold dear.”