While the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major national news story, recent studies by the Pew Research Center shows that it also is an important local news story, with many Americans depending on their local media outlets for information about the outbreak.
An April survey by Pew Research Center, conducted as part of the American News Pathways project, showed that about six-in-ten Americans (61%) said they were following news about the coronavirus outbreak at both the national and local level equally. Around a quarter (23%) said they were paying more attention to news at the local level, while 15% said they were focused more on COVID-19 news at the national level.
A June 4-10 study showed that Americans also see local news outlets as more credible sources of COVID-19 information than the news media in general. Half of U.S. adults said their local news media get the facts right about the coronavirus outbreak almost all or most of the time, compared with 44% who said the same about the news media overall. Similarly, about half of Americans (53%) said their state and local governments get the facts right about COVID-19 all or most of the time.