More Americans getting local news online, on mobile devices

Elon University students, faculty and community members discuss local news going mobile

Marlena Chertock

APRIL 6, 2011

Nagatha Tonkins, the communications internship coordinator, has an iPad but gets most of her local news from TV. Photo by Marlena Chertock.

“By Googling you can get any news you want and it costs you nothing,” said Max Akhlaghi, the district manager of Acorn Coffee Shop.

More Americans are getting their news like Akhlaghi. 47 percent of Americans are getting their local news online or on mobile devices, such as cell phones or tablet computers, according to the 2011 PEW survey on the State of the News Media. Local news is becoming more mobile.

Sophomore Tyler Sickle doesn’t pay for local newspapers around Elon, North Carolina, but he said he would pay for local newspapers in his home town. He is originally from Philadelphia.

“I’m not going to care about small local happenings,” he said.

Sickle gets most of his local news from TV or online. CNN is his home page, he said.

He pays for the print edition of the Wall Street Journal, “because it’s actually better in print,” he said. “I’d rather pay for it and have it right in front of me.”

The Wall Street Journal charges both the print and online versions of the newspaper.

Getting news online or on mobile devices is cost-efficient, Sickle said.

“I’m not 100 percent for it,” Sickle said. “But I’m realistic. That’s the way it’s going to go.”

Being able to access news online is wonderful, according to Bob McAdams, a 1957 alumnus. He gets most of his local news online.

“It gives you a convenient way to keep up with the news whereas the other is tied to newspaper delivery or radio,” he said. “You don’t always turn on the radio or TV at the right time.”

Communications internship coordinator Nagatha Tonkins still prefers to get her local news from TV. She does use her iPad sometimes, but said it can be frustrating.

“It sometimes gets a little too technical for me,” she said. “A couple times I couldn’t get my local news because I didn’t have the right software on my iPad. That was bothersome.”

Akhlaghi used to pay $108 a year for the Iran Times, but has since canceled the subscription and now reads the paper online, he said.

The paper would usually come a week late since it came from D.C., he said.

Akhlaghi gets all of his news online because it’s easy, fast and convenient, he said.

“I call it a better reality,” he said. “You want it and you want it now. You can’t wait for print and it comes the next day for you to read it.”


Tonkins on getting local news online or mobile devices

Akhlaghi on Googling for news


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About Marlena Chertock

Marlena Chertock's first collection of poetry, On that one-way trip to Mars, is available from Bottlecap Press. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Marketplace, and WTOP. Her poems and fiction has appeared in The Deaf Poets Society, Moonsick Magazine, and Paper Darts.

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