Newspapers are more important than ever and here is why

Sep 15, 2020 | Articles

Andrea Burgueño

Andrea Burgueño


In the times of fake news, Covid-19 and an overwhelming amount of messages and media, newspapers have proven to be vital. If a few months ago most people used to spend their time consuming interesting content, now we all look for more than that. We need actual, trustworthy information. That’s why newspapers are more important than ever.

Newspapers are key assets to deliver vital information

A research carried out by Research and Analysis of Media, has concluded that coronavirus public health messages displayed on British local newspapers outperformed all other ads. According to the study, 77% of readers recall the full-page public health ads. 28% higher than the average figure.

RAM’s research concluded that recognition and engagement rates were higher than the average too. Therefore, also more effective when leading people to take action.

But what does this mean? This means that newspapers, especially local newspapers, are a very powerful tool when it comes to delivering complex messages. However, that’s not all. They are also more effective than other channels.

Vital information can also be really complex.

When people need to understand and remember complex information in order to stay safe, the way the media display the information and the channels used to communicating are key factors. RAM’s research found out that the newspaper’s full-page format was the most effective asset to publish health messages. They asked 757 people in the UK which media had been better at delivering complex information. Respondents ranked newspapers in the first place, followed by TV, Radio, Social Media and OOH media, in this order. Moreover, 65% of people claimed to be fully informed.

Also, 65% of respondents said that they remembered all the contents of the ads, while 85% would only remember 50%.

However, not everyone read the entire advertisement. 66% acknowledged having read almost everything.

A very interesting thing, though, is that 67% of people would refer back to the ads at some point. This is a very clear indicator of how useful this information was.

Young people also read printed newspapers sometimes

young woman reading the newspaper

Despite younger generations are more inclined to reading online news, the research carried out by RAM came to a very interesting conclusion:

78% of 15 – 34 year olds having read all/almost all of this complex message compared to 66% in the adult population.”


Also, 80% would refer back to the ads later. This is a remarkably high percentage (higher than the 67% in the case of the adult population).

A question of trust

RAM’s research proves something that we already knew, but did not seem to play such an important role for print media before the pandemic. Quality newspapers offer quality content and therefore a quality context too. This means that the content advertised on quality media will perform better than on other channels. Readers will pay more attention and therefore recall and engagement will be also higher.

Also, a recent study by Reuters Institute in cooperation with Oxford University confirms that trust in news has increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

The authors state:

„As of April 2020, trust in the media’s coverage of COVID-19 was relatively high in all countries, at a similar level to national governments and significantly higher than for individual politicians. Media trust was more than twice the level for social networks, video platforms, or messaging services when it came to information about COVID-19.“

Source: Digital News Report 2020

Before the pandemic, only 38% of respondents across the globe would trust news and only 46% would trust their favoured source. However, Reuters Institute asked again in April and found out that trust in news had significantly increased. 59% of people would trust news.

Why are newspapers becoming important again?

After the internet boom and everyone going digital, newspapers are becoming more important again. Especially due to the pandemic, people are looking for trustworthy sources of information and this format is the perfect one to provide that.

What is the age target of newspapers?

You may think that newspapers are a thing of the past and that only the older people go to these sources to inform themselves. However, 78% of 15-34 year olds read almost, if not all, the messages in newspapers compared to 66% of adults.

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