Audience members who worry over the financial situation of their local news outlets are more willing to pay for news, Manuel Goyanes, of University Carlos III de Madrid, discovered. Goyanes analysed survey responses from almost 35 000 Americans, collected in 2018.
The author investigated three factors’ connection to audience members’ willingness to pay for local news. Perceived (poor) financial state of local news outlets, history of participation in news creation, and a preference for community-engaged journalists all had a statistically significant, positive impact on willingness to pay.
Goyanes also looked into a number of background variables, e.g. age. Older audience members are more ready to loosen their purse strings – as are those who are wealthier and more interested in news. Age also appears to moderate the effect of the outlets’ financial state: older people seem to be more sympathetic to the news outlets’ plight.
The article “Why Do Citizens Pay for Online Political News and Public Affairs?” was published in the journal Journalism Studies. It is available online on the publisher’s website (abstract free). The article is also available from ResearchGate (open access).
Picture: Untitled by Jan Vašek.