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Readers fully engage with community news media

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  • One in two say newspapers most engaging platform.
  • Advertisers benefit from “lean in” nature of print.


Engagement is critical to advertising effectiveness. A number of studies have found engaging media can lift campaign performance across a number of important metrics including ad recall1, ad recognition2 and message comprehension3.

Results from this study show newspapers are the most engaging medium in the lives of readers, offering advertisers the perfect platform to deliver effective campaigns.

National/metro newspapers, closely followed by community newspapers, are more engaging than all other media.


The concentration barrier

Newspapers are a “lean-in” media. Reading a newspaper requires high levels of attention.

One key factor is the content, which tends to be deeper and more demanding than in most other media. A second critical factor is the physical process of reading, which requires greater involvement than lower-attention media such as TV or radio.

A benefit for newspaper advertisers is that readers are less likely to be distracted by other activities, increasing the chance that they’ll notice the ads.


Readers are most likely to concentrate when reading their local newspaper and while online on PCs, laptops or tablets (27%).

Broadcast media not only has lower attention levels, 17 per cent for television and only 12 per cent for radio, their audiences are more likely to be distracted or undertake other tasks.

Audiences don’t always give full attention to a single media, they also chat with family or friends, do household chores, or use other media.

The other activities TV viewers engage in make it easy for them to miss the commercials.

The most common distraction is the internet, with 7 out of 10  viewers (68%)  saying they go online while watching TV, 59 per cent do household chores, 53 per cent chat with family or friends,  43 per cent talk on the phone – and 31 per cent read the newspaper.

The net effect is that newspapers generate a higher level of focus, creating an ideal environment for high cut-through ads to get noticed.


  1. Cunningham, T., Hall, A. S., & Young, C. (2006). The Advertising Magnifier Effect: An Mtv Study. Journal of Advertising Research
  1. DePelsmacker, P., Geuens, M., & Anckaert, P. (2002). Media Context and Advertising Effectiveness: The Role of Context Appreciation and Context/Ad Similarity. Journal of Advertising, 31(2), 49
  2. Gallagher, K., Foster, K. D., & Parsons, J. (2001). The Medium Is Not the Message: Advertising Effectiveness and Content Evaluation in Print and on the Web. Journal of Advertising Research, 41(4), 57.
  1. Global Trust in Advertising Report (Australian data), Nielsen, 2015
  2. “What makes an ad persuasive?” Millward Brown Knowledge Point, 2013
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