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Pittsburghers Prefer To Get Their Local News From Television, New Study Finds

Megan Harris
90.5 WESA

About half of all southwestern Pennsylvanians say their primary source of local news is from TV stations, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. 

In second place are websites and apps with 17 percent. Print and social media follow, with 15 and 14 percent respectively. Radio brings up the rear, with 7 percent of Pittsburgh-area adults saying they prefer to get their news that way.

The statistics are surprising, according to Andrew Conte, director of Point Park University's Center for Media Innovation. He said the assumption has been that print will stay popular in Pittsburgh because of its aging population. 

"The results here are showing that that's just not true," Conte said. "People say they love print but they're not going to print, they're going to television."

The study also illustrates that a lot of Pittsburghers feel disconnected from local media. More than a third of residents say local journalists are out of touch with the community, and three-quarters say local news does not have much influence. 

Conte said these are issues the industry will have to address moving forward.

"As we look to what's going to make journalism more important, it's going to be journalists getting more in touch with the community," Conte said. "So people say, 'yeah, I know who the local journalists are, I talk to them, they're in my community all the time, I do see them'."

Residents who participated in the survey said weather, crime, and traffic are the topics they care most about on a daily basis.

An interactive version of the report can be found here.