A new study conducted by former Hofstra University professor Bob Papper found that the amount of local news on the radio and television is on the rise. Over the past year, Papper found the average weekday running time of local news increased by almost eight minutes.
The rise of local news on the radio throughout 2016 and into 2017 indicates an overall rise in listenership. And this rise has not only influenced the content of different radio shows but the existence of the shows themselves. In his research, Papper found the percentage of stations cutting newscasts fell by 1.2 percent during the past year. Additionally, he found that commercial stations were twice as likely to add a newscast, compared to non-commercial stations.
Papper also looked at the rise of local news on television and found the amount of local news as continued to rise over the course of the past several years. On average, television stations commit nearly 5.7 hours of airtime during the week to local news. Papper found that a majority of television stations have added newscast, especially during the 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. time frame, as viewership is highest during that time.
Overall, local news on the radio and television has been on the rise across the nation. Both commercial and non-commercial radio stations have increased their coverage of local news, reaching almost 72 percent of the stations included in the survey. And television stations’ local news coverage has continued to rise over the course of several years.
It seems likely that this increase of local news coverage will continue throughout the year and into 2018. As a result, it appears that the best way to get a story on the radio and television news, is to connect it to the local community.