Home » Research Articles » Regional news media tops for engagement

Regional news media tops for engagement


  • One in two say newspapers most engaging platform.
  • Advertisers benefit from “lean in” nature of print.
  • Newspapers the most trusted information source.

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 recall 1, ad recognition 2 and message comprehension3.

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

Readers are 1.4 times more likely to find their regional newspaper more engaging than TV, with engagement levels 1.6 times that of radio and 2.9 that of letter-box dropped catalogues and flyers.

The concentration barrier

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

The content within tends to be deeper and more demanding than content in other media. The physical process of reading requires greater involvement than lower-attention media such as TV or radio. Also, readers are less likely to be involved in and distracted by other activities.


While watching TV, two out of three viewers (68%) are also online, 57 per cent chat with family or friends, 57 per cent do household chores, 44 per cent talk on the phone – and 28 per cent read the newspaper.

Newspapers generate a higher level of focus, creating an ideal environment for high cut-through ads to get noticed.

The newspaper trust factor

Trust is at the heart of influence and results show that regional newspaper readers trust their local newspaper more than any other media.

At a time when consumers can choose from a number of different sources that can give them a view of what’s going on locally, regional newspapers still have the dominant reputation for accurate reporting.

Trust in regional newspapers is two times higher than trust in television or radio, three times higher than trust in online search, and 13 times higher than trust in social media.

Regional newspapers provide a level of trust that no other media can match.

Trust in the media carries over to trust in the advertising. This can be seen in the most recent Global Trust in Advertising report released by Nielsen last year, which reported that Australians trusted ads in newspapers more than ads in any other media.1

Trust builds credibility, and credibility has been shown to be a key factor in lifting persuasiveness of advertising.2

The strong local ties regional newspapers have with their communities, and their inherent links with local businesses, give advertisers a powerful platform for establishing and reinforcing trust in their brands.

Read Part 1 of Think Local: Regional News Media report here
Read Part 2 of Think Local: Regional News Media report here.
Read Part 3 of Think Local: Regional News Media report here


  1. Cunningham, T., Hall, A. S., & Young, C. (2006). The Advertising Magnifier Effect: An MTV Study. Journal of Advertising Research.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
Related downloads