Back To Listing

Living la vida local: community newspapers still reaching lion’s share of newsprint readers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2011 – September 2013. Australians 14+ in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth, n = 58,719

7 in 10 capital city newspaper readers include community newspapers in their week’s newsprint mix—with over 1 in 5 of them now reading only their local newspaper, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows.

Over six million people in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth read their community newspaper in an average week in the two years to September 2013—that’s the majority (52%) of all capital city residents aged 14+.

57% of all Adelaideans read a community newspaper, just ahead of Sydney and Perth (54% each), Melbourne (50%) and Brisbane (48%).

But Sydney leads with the highest proportion of local-only readers: 764,000 (20%) Sydneysiders read their community newspaper but not a metro paper—almost 40,000 more than vice versa—with another 1 in 3 Sydneysiders (1.3 million) reading both.

Conversely, while Adelaide has the lowest proportion of residents who read only community newspapers (13%), it has the greatest crossover, with 44% of Adelaide reading both local and metro papers in an average week.

Capital City Readership of Community and Metro Newspapers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2011 – September 2013. Australians 14+ in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth, n = 58,719

Overall, 74% of capital city residents can be reached in an average week via a metro or community newspaper, and 70% of those include a community newspaper in the mix.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“With all the recent debate over declining newsprint readership, it’s vital to remember two things: print newspapers remain an effective avenue for many types of communication, whether editorial journalism or commercial advertising; community newspapers continue to reach the majority of capital city residents overall—and 70% of newspaper readers.

“There is obviously a strong correlation between the two newspaper categories, local and metro. Readers of one sort are naturally more inclined to be readers of the other, so there is a great deal of crossover. However, the fact that 38% of Australia’s mainland capital city residents only read one or the other indicates there may be some important differences between the audiences, which can be better understood only through more in-depth demographic, behavioural and attitudinal segmentation analysis.

For comments or more information please contact:

Michele Levine, CEO
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5215

Please click on this link to the Roy Morgan Online Store

Related Research

View our latest Readership Survey release or browse the range of Media Most Useful (Newspapers) consumer profiles.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate



25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%