KGW & KATU Top Local News In Search E-mail
Internet Trends & Stats
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 09:43

Nearly three quarters of Americans report following their local news closely. Americans turn to a wide range of platforms to get local news and information, and where they turn varies considerably depending on the subject matter and their age, according to a survey by Pew Research. Most Americans, including more tech-savvy adults under age 40, also use a blend of both new and traditional sources to get their information. The survey echoes longstanding research that more Americans report watching local TV news than any other source but it also finds that Americans tend to rely on the medium for just a few topics—mainly weather, breaking news, and to a lesser degree, traffic. Yet consumers rely on other sources for most other local topics. Younger adults, moreover, rely on local television less, a fact that suggests more vulnerability for the medium in the future.

Looking at the 79% of Americans who are online, the internet is the first or second most relied-upon source for 15 of the 16 local topics examined. For adults under 40, the web is first for 11 of the top 16 topics—and a close second on four others.

The figure below indicates the sources people use at least once a week to get “local news and information,” in descending order.

Among all internet users, search engine sites were the most popular place to look for news about a story or topic, with 21% citing Google and 14% citing Yahoo. In Oregon alone, nearly 4 million users search for their news on Google every seven days according to Google's Adplanner.

In the local Portland, OR area, KGW and KATU lead the way in "brand name" searches producing nearly twice the Google search queries for their brand names as the other two leading local news producers according to Google Trends.


The stations also vary by city. While KGW leads the way in the cities of West Linn, Clackamas, and Tualatin, KATU captures more searches in Canby, Oregon City, and Salem.

Social signals are continuing to rise as an important ranking factor that search engines are using. These social sites are also becoming a way to measure the popularity of brands. It's interesting to note that the ranking in search queries for the previous local news names correspond to that of their social media popularity.



As the internet continues to grow and affect how users both consume and even create news, it is difficult to predict the future of how our networked world will get their news. Earlier this year, Lee Rainie, Director of Pew Internet Project, discussed this topic and created the following presentation.

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