The larger a newspaper’s local population, the broader its online market

[October 6, 2011]

Research from the Newspaper Research Journal suggests that big city local news is interesting to people hundreds and even thousands of miles away.

In fact, the Los Angeles-based Daily News website attracts readers far away than within Los Angeles.

For readers of the online version of the Daily News, the reader’s average distance from Los Angeles was 422.5 miles.

The research conducted by Hsiang Iris Chyi, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, included reader surveys at 28 local newspapers that suggest newspapers based in locales with larger populations, as well as those with higher print circulations, tend to have a more geographically dispersed online readership.

Local news stories from Los Angeles top the list, which included a Staten Island paper, in a geographic ranking of reach.

The top-10 list for geographic reach of newspapers’ websites included:

1. Los Angeles – DailyNews.com
2. Denver – DenverPost.com
3. Denver – RockyMountainNews.com
4. Pocatello – JournalNet.com
5. Waterloo – WCFCourier.com
6. St. Paul – TwinCities.com
7. Erie – GoErie.com
8. El Paso – ElPasoTimes.com
9. Whittier – WhittierDailyNews.com
10. Dubuque – THOnline.com

The study was published in the summer 2011 issue of Newspaper Research Journal.

Contacts: Sandra H. Utt Cell: (901) 628-2553 e-mail: nrj@newspaperresearchjournal.org or Elinor Kelley Grusin e-mail: egrusin@memphis.edu

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