Skip to main content

Local TV, Cable Are Top Choices for News During Pandemic

Los Angeles stations covering a COVID-19 press conference.
(Image credit: KTLA)

Local TV and cable news nets are in a virtual tie for the title of primary source of news since the beginning of the pandemic.

That is according to a new survey of over 5,000 U.S. news consumers conducted by strategic consulting firm Altman Solon.

According to the survey, 26% of respondents cited local TV news channels as their chief news source, followed by cable news at 25% (essentially a dead heat given the margin of error), then network newscasts at 22%, online news sites at 14%, and social media at 10%.

Among the other survey highlights:

  1. At a time of concern about fake news, almost one in three Americans said they would be willing to pay more for "well-researched and reliable news."
  2. 27% said they were more likely to pay for racially diverse news, while 26% would do so for news with gender diversity and 22% for news exhibiting sexual orientation diversity.
  3. 34% are watching three or more hours of news per week.

The web survey was conducted August-September 2020 and has a margin of error of 1%.