Local news is facing significant challenges as news publishers are competing with digital platforms and social media for both advertising and readership. The society is experiencing a rise in mistrust in all institutions including news. Local news is particularly vulnerable to these changes and has experienced waves of consolidation and closure resulting in fewer journalism jobs and increased work for those who remain. Ownership changes are a cause of insecurity and uncertainty among journalists.
To better understand the state of local news provision and consumption in regional Australia, this study surveyed 2,038 regional news consumers about their perception of local news, the changes in news provision that are occurring in their communities, and how much they rely on local news sources. The researchers asked regional consumers about their interest in a new type of grassroots online local news service to gauge an appetite for fresh approaches for locally supported news services.