10 December 2009

New research set to show users' local news sites habits

In the ongoing discussion of finding innovative ways of using digital media and trying to generate income from such methods, it can be easy to quickly lose sight of your audience.

But, as freelance journalist Jon Slattery blogs, new research is set to reveal how, when and most importantly why people use local online news services.

He has reported on an announcement by The Newspaper Society that they have appointed Connect Insight to conduct the research.

The study, wanted ads Digital, will take place in January with results expected to be announced by the end of February. It is intended to complement the local media print and online planning tool Locally Connected which was launched by the Society in November.

According to The Newspaper Society, the project will use focus groups and in-depth interviews which will include accompanied web surfing sessions in which respondents will be quizzed by researchers while surfing news websites.

Keith Donaldson, NS head of research and insight, said: “Locally Connected has enabled us to see and quantify the unduplicated reach that local media websites add to the print product.

“Building on this, the wanted ads Digital will provide valuable insights into why people log on to their local media websites as opposed to any other news outlets, and how they use them.”

The study will look at usage of different areas of websites and services such as video, blogs and podcasts. It will also examine how local media online fits within the overall picture of online media and how it relates to its parent print product, the local newspaper.

It will certainly prove interesting for digital editors and journalists looking to refine their online product to generate much needed traffic.

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