3 dangerous myths about local media

Never underestimate the power and reach of a regional or small-town news outlet. If you do, the lesson could prove painful for your company or client that gets roasted.

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Radio Grockleshire or the Backwoods Weekly Advertiser may seem a million miles from the power and authority of “News at Ten” or The New York Times. But they are all joined by a journalistic umbilical cord that carries constant nourishment from the cities and shires to the national news organizations.

Anyone dealing with the local media would do well to remember and respect that link. To that end, here are three common assumptions about local media you’d be well advised not to make.

1. Local media isn’t popular.

One assumption about local media is that few people are paying attention and that those who do pay attention wield little influence. But the numbers can be misleading.

The audience for a local radio breakfast show, for example, may only be in the tens of thousands—but that is many more than will buy a national newspaper locally. It is a highly significant audience; just ask any politician.

In addition, the local media’s readers and listeners care. For them, this is the news that matters in their lives. If proof were needed of the popularity of local radio, the anger over the BBC’s planned cutbacks has provided it.

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