New industry data shows 4.4 million Scots over 15 engage with a local news brand at least one a month, either on digital platforms or in print.
The latest JICREG (Joint industry Currency for Regional Media Research) release shows that local media in Scotland has a monthly total brand reach of 95 per cent of the over 15 population, compared to 77 per cent across Great Britain.
Newsbrands Scotland director John McLellan said the new figures demonstrated that Scottish people remain fully committed to strong local brands they know they can trust.
“Year after year, the JICREG figures show how Scotland’s news brands are inextricable from their communities, with virtually every adult engaging with our titles at least one a month because they know they can rely on the information our publishers provide,” he said.
“It’s very hard to see how much more embedded in their communities our titles can be, especially when compared to the GB figure, and it should be very clear to public and private decision makers that Scottish news brands must be a major part of any plan to communicate with local communities.”
JICREG is governed by a board of representatives from local publishers, the News Media Association (NMA), ISBA (the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and is a joint industry currency used by all major UK publishers and agencies.
Clare O’Brien, ISBA head of media, said: “Local journalists live and work in the communities they serve and that enables them to produce unique and powerful content which is directly relevant to people’s lives.
“This matters for advertisers who face more choice and fragmentation than ever before. By investing in local media, clients can harness the unique and powerful connection that local media has with local communities at unprecedented scale.”
Belinda Beeftink, IPA research director, said: “Local news brands have always been highly trusted by their readers and that converts into the extremely strong audience numbers we are seeing. As misinformation becomes ever more sophisticated, news brands – the main driver of trusted journalism in the UK – will become even more important than they are now.”
Adam Crow, head of publishing UK at essencemediacom, said: “JICREG is a well-known, long-established and highly trusted tool within the media agency and advertiser community, enabling users to see exactly how local media is consumed in print, mobile and desktop right across Great Britain.”