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Relevance of newspapers today

How consumers engage with and value printed newspapers and their websites in the modern age, and how this influence extends to its advertising.

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Newspapers command readers’ full attention

Australians are using more types of media now than in the past, so there’s a premium on those than can command users’ full attention. Newspapers can do this better than any other medium. 

Newspapers are highly trusted

Faced with multiple types of media to choose from, Australian consumers’ level of trust in the media takes on more importance than ever. Newspapers continue to survive and thrive as the leading source of credible content. The implication for marketers is that consumers are more likely to believe and rely on messages that are presented within such a trusted environment, as shown in the table below.

International research supports this view:

  • Nielsen Global Survey in Trust 2009 – International study
  • Newspapers Today Part 1 – Australian audience report
  • Consumers trust their local paper – Australian research
  • Community newspapers deliver – Canadian research
  • Regional newspaper websites – UK research
  • Newspapers as trusted media – New Zealand study into Newspaper Inserts
  • Print and Online readership – Canadian study

Newspaper advertising is still welcomed by consumers

In an age where avoidance of advertising is increasing, Australians still welcome advertising in newspapers. And they find it believable and are much more inclined to pay attention to it.

Newspapers have transformed into powerful multi- platform brands

Newspapers have always been strong brands, due largely to the focus on quality journalism and creation of original content.  The digital age has made access to this content even easier, and in the process, newspapers and their websites have become powerful multi-dimensional brands. This will continue to strengthen into the future as mobile technology and penetration increases.

Favourite printed newspapers are prominently positioned as brands in the minds of Australians. The expansion of newspapers into the online sphere and into mobile has renewed the relevance of newspapers in the minds of Australians. They are seen as contemporary brands that compare favourably to iconic digital brands.

Newspapers can entice behavioural change in consumers

The absorbing, dynamic and reputable nature of newspapers provides a powerful platform for advertisers to affect behavioural change in consumers.

Research conducted by the Newspaper Marketing Agency in the UK concludes that newspapers provide the platform and environment for advertising to:

  • Provoke reactions
  • Stimulate debate
  • Challenge conventional thinking
  • Convey complex messages
  • Deliver the essence of a campaign
  • Establish strong emotional connections and a sense of affinity with brands, products and services

Newspapers provide an enriching experience for readers

Newspapers and their website have moved beyond traditional roles of informing and educating. They now deliver a complete experience that is enriching for its users, more so than any other medium.

People have an insatiable appetite for news

A voracious appetite for news and information for Australians aged 14-69 has resulted in people using both newspapers and their websites. 81 per cent of people within that age group agree they want to be up to date with the latest in news and entertainment, and 85 per cent agree that they seek out news and entertainment content that is of interest to them.

Newspapers and their websites have a dynamism unmatched by other main media

The dynamic nature of newspapers has evolved since the entrance of new media. Newspapers have integrated print and online to break news, deciding where it’s best placed, on which platform it will run, and when. This position has increased from 2007 to 2009.

The early morning consumption of newspapers puts them in a unique position to determine what the key news agenda is on any given day. The printed newspaper takes a stance, has a point of view and challenges thinking. This is backed up by newspaper websites which have the ability to break news and provide updates throughout the day. Television is inclined to hold its major stories until the early evening news bulletins.


Printed newspapers setting the agenda for the day is not merely a belief of older generations. Even when looking at the printed form of newspapers alone, 14-24 year olds are more likely than 25-34 year olds to hold this association (33 per cent versus 28 per cent), and are only marginally less likely than 25-49 year olds (35 per cent).

Newspapers and their websites have a unique positioning that extends to a younger audience

The high regard youth audiences place on newspapers and their websites translates into an ability to influence this demographic more than the internet on a range of topics and issues.

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