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Our Opinion: Not news to us; readers serious about information

Our Opinion: Not news to us; readers serious about information

March 20th, 2014 in News

A new study affirms our readers' commitment to remain informed.

The Media Insight Project study revealed Americans of all ages remain interested in and engaged by serious news.

We bristle at suggestions that today's readers are narrow-minded, self-absorbed and/or uninformed. We are familiar with criticisms that all people care about are: outrageous behavior, a la Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber; sports, actual or fantasy teams; or stories pertaining to their own interests or ideologies.

The study debunks these myths.

"This idea that somehow we're all going down narrow paths of interest and that many people are just sort of amusing themselves to death and not interested in the news and the world around them - that is not the case," said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute. The organization teamed with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research on the project.

More specifically, the study found about 75 percent of Americans see or hear news daily, including about 60 percent younger than 30. In addition, about 90 percent of people enjoy keeping up with the news and 60 percent said they prefer a news organization as the source of information.

We were pleased The Associated Press story singled out newspapers. It reported: "Readers prefer newspapers - online or in print - for local news stories about schools and education, and arts and culture coverage. Among news sources, newspapers have the widest range of topics that attract a significant number of people."

The operative phrase - online or in print - is applicable. Just as the study acknowledged that technology has created a veritable smorgasbord of news sources, so we have expanded the ways we deliver the news.

News media is a more apt description of modern newspapers. People interested in local news may access stories through their smart phone, tablet or desktop via website, app or social media. Readers can interact with the News Tribune not only through letters to the editor, but through tweets and Facebook messages.

Our readers' desire for the full spectrum of news, sports and entertainment inspires our ongoing mission.

The study validates a bright future for the valued partnership we enjoy with our readers.