JACKSON, Mississippi – A new study finds more than seven in 10 Mississippi adults read a printed daily, Sunday or weekly newspaper during an average week. The findings are part of a new study announced 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 advertising information in our state.”
The Advertising and Media Use Survey was conducted through interviews with a random cellphone and landline sampling of Mississippi adults in April.
American Opinion Research 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:
» 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 percent) say printed newspapers are the one local advertising source they rely on most.
» Almost nine in 10 (87 percent) 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.
» Further, the study found some unique aspects to newspaper readership in the state, including particular strength among younger adults (ages 18-34) than in most states. Use of newspaper websites adds significantly to printed readership among all groups, particularly younger consumers.
“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 newspapers.
Further results from the survey can be accessed on the MPA website, www.mspress.org.
Founded in 1866, MPA, based in Jackson, is the sixth-oldest association of its kind in the United States. It represents 17 daily and 93 non-daily newspapers in the state, as well as over 70 associated websites. Its business affiliate, Mississippi Press Services, Inc., was established in 1978 as a marketing unit promoting newspapers and associated websites as media of first choice for advertisers and news consumers.
Headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, American Opinion Strategic Research (AOR Strategic) is one of the fastest-growing, full—service quantitative and qualitative research companies in the world with a special expertise in branding and positioning, message development, new product launches, customer satisfaction and the environment. AOR has conducted similar surveys for national clients such as The New York Times Co., McClatchy Newspapers, The Chicago Tribune and many others.
— from the Mississippi Press Association
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