Poll: Blacks, Hispanics rely on community newspapers

LOS ANGELES: Preliminary results from the first nationwide audit of African-American and Hispanic community newspapers were released this month, providing insights into the extent that ethnic audiences rely on grassroots media.

LOS ANGELES: Preliminary results from the first nationwide audit of African-American and Hispanic community newspapers were released this month, providing insights into the extent that ethnic audiences rely on grassroots media.

Among key findings is that for both Hispanic and black newspaper readers, only 13% subscribe to a general market daily, "which means that marketers and agencies are not reaching them through a daily newspaper," said Trevor Hansen, VP of Gemstone Communications, which did the survey in conjunction with auditing firm Circulation Verification Council.

Seventy-four percent of Hispanic readers and 66% of black readers claimed their community papers are their only or primary local news and community-information source. Seventy-two percent of blacks added that they frequently buy products or services featured in community papers.

Other findings look at particular market segments, such as healthcare, to gauge community interest. There, the survey found that 48% of Hispanics want to know more about heart health and other health issues, while 30% said they want to know more about health insurance.

The audit was done in part because very little data exists on the demographics of these community papers, making it difficult for marketers to convince clients to spend money targeting them.

Hansen said the new data could be used by agencies as proof that ethnic media can reach key consumers.

"A very large majority of African-American newspapers were not audited," he explained. "Agencies and clients look to that data to build the business case to make strong client presentations."

The survey included 110 African-American papers and 85 Hispanic papers across the US.

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