Newload Study Finds 59% Are Open to Locally Produced Satire

Updated: Sep 17

72.4% are interested in local news. 34.7% don't believe they get enough of it.



In this report we outline what we learned when we researched topics around satire, local news, audience habits and motives.


This is combined data from the PEW Research Center , The SAGE Journal, and a Bizbio Inc. conducted Google Survey (View RAW data at the bottom of this report) of between 1000 and 700 random people from the United States, Canada, The United Kingdom and Australia.


 


A Summary of Key Findings

  • 59.3% of people say they are open to giving local satire a chance.

  • 74.4% of people think local news is important.

  • 72.4% of people are interested in local news.

  • 34.7% of people don't believe they consume enough local news.

  • From 2014 to 2022, there are 36% fewer newspaper reporters.

  • Since 2008 newspaper revenues have dropped by 60%.

  • 71% of people think newsrooms are doing well financially.

  • 62% of people have heard of The Daily Show as a news source.

  • 50.0% of people say they enjoy satire.

  • 40.2% of people say they think satire can reach people who don’t like the news.

  • 45.1% of people say they think satire can inform people of important issues.

  • 80% of satirical-news viewers list entertainment as the main draw.

  • 53.3% of people say they don’t know of any amazing local talent. (We beg to differ)


(Review other findings by checking out the RAW DATA)

Newsload actors making funny poses toward the camera


Primary Finding

59.3% say they are open to giving local satire a chance

We wanted to know whether or not people would be willing to give local satire a chance. Though shows like the Daily Show, or Saturday Night Live, are very successful on the macro level, until now, very little is known about how modern audiences would react to similar content on a local level.


A chart outlining data discovered through a Newsload funded study

We found that 28.8% of people would absolutely give local satire a chance, 14.6% would not give local satire a chance, 30.5% say "maybe", to giving local satire a chance and 26.1% had no opinion. In all, 85.4% of respondents were not against giving local satire a chance.



It’s hard to have an opinion about content you haven’t seen. We believe as long as locally produced satire is consistently funny, or at least amusing, audiences will watch.


 

Public Sentiments Regarding Local News

74.4% of people think local news is important.
A chart outlining data discovered through a Newsload funded study

We wanted to understand how many people recognize the importance of local news.


We found 74.4% of people believe local news is important. 8.5% do not think it's important and 17.1% have no opinion.


Though the more people who think local news is important, the larger the potential audience, good comedy will appeal to even the uninterested. Indeed that's its strength.


Example of a Newsload Story: Two Newsload correspondents argue as they follow the mayor to her car. Who gets to ask the big juicy exposition question? If the mayor addresses them, all the better. Improv comedians keep her talking and the laughs coming...


 

72.4% of people are interested in local news.

We wanted to find out the percentage of people interested in local news.


A chart outlining data discovered through a Newsload funded study

We found that 74.2 of people have an interest in local news. 12.4% of people do not have an interest in local news and 15.3% of people have no opinion.


Different from understanding importance, is understanding interest. One may understand the importance of something, but have no interest in learning more about it. Here we see that the percentage of people who see local news as important and interesting is roughly the same.


 


34.7% don't believe they consume enough local news.

We wanted to understand if people who understand the importance of, and are interested in, local news, translate that into their media habits.

A chart outlining data discovered through a Newsload funded study

We found that 45.3% of folks think they consume enough local news. 34.7% of people don't think they consume enough local news and 20% of folks have no opinion.


If only 45% of folks think they get enough local news, as the previous results indicate, there is a significant gap between thinking local news is important and consuming it.



Newsload moves to Uhive

Health of Local Newsrooms


Pew Rearch Center study finds number of statehouse reporters declined 36% between 2014 and 2022

From 2014 to 2022, there are 36% fewer newspaper reporters in statehouses.


This is a finding from a PEW Research Center Study. They crunched the data to discover how many on-the-ground reporters are still reporting local news from statehouses throughout the United States.


Here we see the number of on-the-ground journalists has dropped dramatically over the 8 years of the study. Fewer journalists working means fewer important local news stories being told and more degradation to democratic guardrails. When the cats are away the mice will play.









 

A Pew Research Center Study Chart that shows that Newspapers Revenue have dropped by 60% since 2008
Since 2008 newspaper revenues have dropped by 60%.

This finding is from a PEW Research Center Study. They crunched data to determine the financial viability of newspapers across the U.S. generally.


This data shows us that the business model that has traditionally supported local news is toast. People are interested in local news but not enough to support local newsrooms. This is clearly a problematic trend for democracy. If corruption becomes endemic...


 

A Pew Research Center Study Chart that shows that 71% of people don't know that local newsrooms are in distress
71% of people think newsrooms are doing well financially.

This finding is from a PEW Research Center Study. They crunched data to find out how much local folk know about the crises in newsrooms.


Here we see the disconnect. Vast numbers of people are interested in local news; they believe local news must be doing well financially – while at the same time – journalists are being laid off and newspapers everywhere are downsizing or closing.




Public Sentiments Regarding Satire

64% of people have heard of The Daily Show as a news source.

As a comparative tool we wanted to understand how many people already understand that comedic journalism can be a good source of real news.


According to this Pew Research Center Study, more people have heard of the Comedy Central show, 'The Daily Show' than many other news sources, including NPR (53%), The Economist (34%) and The Drudge Report (34%).


A chart outlining Pew Research Study results showing the Daily Show is a well known source of news.

This shows that there is already a wide understanding that satire can be a quality source for news. Though local comedic journalism, in the video medium, is a new approach, in the mind of audiences it isn’t a stretch. The foundations of success are in place.


 

50% of people say they enjoy satire.

We wanted to know the percentage of folks who enjoy satire.


A chart outlining data discovered through a Newsload funded study

We found that 50% of folks surveyed enjoy satire. 21.7% said they don't like satire and 28.9% of folks had no opinion.


We believe the no opinion selection here is based on the subjective nature of satire. Some satire we like - some we don’t. 80% did not say ‘no’ to enjoying satire.




Example of a Newsload Series: The Mime Gang Strikes Again - News Anchor: "The mime gang has appeared again, this time outside the local health unit. Here you can see they are signaling their concerns. I will translate..."

 

40.2% of people say they think satire can reach people who don’t like the news.

We wanted to gauge the current understanding among folks as to the power of satire to reach outside demographics.

A chart outlining data discovered through a Newsload funded study

We found that 40.2% of people think satire can reach folks who don't like the news. 21.4% of people don't think so and 38.5% have no opinion.


79% of people did not say 'no' to the idea that satire can reach people who don’t like the news.



 

38.8% of people say they think satire can inform people of important issues.

We wanted to gauge the current understanding among folks as to the power of satire to inform around important issues


A chart outlining data discovered through a Newsload funded study

We found that 45.1% of people think satire can inform folks of important issues. 18.3% don't think so and 36.4% of folks have no opinion.


This isn't reinventing the wheel. Comedic journalism uses what’s already there, in a different way, to create interest in local content. Over 80% did not say 'no' to the idea that satire can inform people of important issues.




 

80% of satirical-news viewers list entertainment as the main draw.

A charts with information regarding Dannagal G. Young (2013) Laughter, Learning, or Enlightenment? Viewing and Avoidance Motivations Behind The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 57:2, 153-169, DOI: 10.1080/08838151.2013.787080
Dannagal G. Young (2013) Laughter, Learning, or Enlightenment? Viewing and Avoidance Motivations Behind The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 57:2, 153-169, DOI: 10.1080/08838151.2013.787080

According to a SAGE Journals Meta-Analysis on Satirical News Impacts the vast majority of satirical news viewers watch for the purpose of entertainment, not “News-ness”.


This curated study shows that satire is already a powerful way of getting new people interested in news. As the satirical franchising of local news sketches has never been attempted, this provides more evidence that such an approach would be well received by local audiences.





Public Sentiment Regarding Local Talent

53.3% of respondents say they don’t know of any amazing local talent.

We wanted to understand how tuned into the local arts scene the average person is.


a chart outlining the results from a 2022 Newsload conducted study around satire

We found that 20.3% of folks think they know of amazing local talent, 53.3% don't think they know any amazing local talent and 26.4% have no opinion.


This is a discrepancy between an on-the-ground reality and the average person’s perception. There is a shit ton of talent floating around out there. Those of us who have interacted in that realm know this.



 

Newsload actors making funny gestures - one seems distraught by her counterpart opening his trench coat

Conclusion


The most interesting, and surprising finding in this study, is that more people don’t realize the powerhouse of talent that surrounds them.

Perhaps our culture is such where we believe if someone can’t make a living at it, they must not be very good. My experience, as a commercial and independent film producer, has taught me that nothing could be further from the truth.


Some of the most amazing talents out there are grocery clerks and lawyers by day, moms and dads by night. They are a raw resource, just waiting to be called upon, and every town has them. A creative army, dreaming of an opportunity to step up, to help democracy, to help their community, to pursue their dreams.



NEWSLOAD STUDY RAW DATA


A Newsload.ca Study conducted in May and June of 2022
A Newsload.ca Study conducted in May and June of 2022

The Newsload Political Satire Study (2022)


This study was conducted between May 11th, 2022 and June 29th, 2022, Using Google Surveys



Other Findings:

  • All countries follow roughly the same trends with few exceptions.

  • Canadians are generally the most likely to choose no opinion.

  • Those from the United Kingdom are the most likely to like local satire.

  • Americans are the most likely to view local news as important.

  • The British are the most likely to be interested in local news.

  • The British are the most skeptical about the availability of local talent.

  • Australians are the most likely to admit they should absorb more local news.


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