Marketers have benefited from advertising in newspapers for centuries. Not only do news publishers offer quality information from trusted sources, but they provide advertisers with brand-safe options for promoting their products and services to consumers. 

In recent years, competition from the social media platforms has resulted in businesses shifting advertising dollars away from news publishers and toward digital platforms. Like news publishers, the platforms offer great reach and targeting abilities for marketers wanting to reach their customer base with promotions. But unlike news publishers, some of the platforms, such as Facebook, have become overrun with hate speech, disinformation and misinformation, making them unsafe, unsupervised spaces in which advertisers have no control over the context in which their ads appear. This can result in users drawing associations between advertisers and the hateful, discriminatory and misleading thoughts and ideas being perpetuated alongside their ads. 

In contrast, news publishers are committed to high-quality journalism, written and edited by professionals. They take responsibility for that they do. Instinctively built-in to that is a brand-safe environment for marketers. 

Research shows that readers trust ads more when they are placed alongside quality journalism. A 2019 study from Verizon Media found that 29 percent of U.S. adults feel more favorable to brands they see advertising with publishers they already trust. In addition, the News Media Alliance reported in its News Advertising Panorama that 82 percent of news media consumers trust print ads, versus 43 percent that trust ads on social media. 

The public wants and needs quality news and information more than ever. But despite news publishers working tirelessly to provide important information to their communities throughout the coronavirus pandemic and the recent protests around racial equality – which have driven increased traffic to their sites – advertising revenue has plummeted even further as a result of the pandemic. As ad spending gradually resumes, the future of local news depends on support in the form of advertising from businesses. 

Supporting local news publishers is a win-win, helping keep these critical sources of quality journalism in business, while benefiting from a trusted marketing channel to reach target audiences. Incidentally, news audiences continue to grow. The News Media Alliance reported that news media sites receive over 200 million unique visits and 6.7 billion page views per month. 

Businesses should not be expected to tolerate the hostile environment some platforms have allowed to flourish on their sites and should look to brand-safe alternatives such as local news publishers for a quality content environment for their ads. Most local news media companies can reach more adults in their local markets than any other local media, and 55 percent of local newspapers have a mobile app. 

Informed communities are more engaged communities – in democracy, and in the economy. News publishers want to talk to advertisers now about opportunities in their print and digital publications. Click here for more information and to access a directory of local news publishers. 

Provided by News Media Alliance, a Capitol Communicator sponsor.

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