A new study shows that for Southern Texans, TV stations are the most trusted news source and lifeline during Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey.
Southern Texas communities overwhelmingly chose local broadcast television as their preferred news source for storm coverage over all other media. That’s according to a study commissioned by TVB, and conducted by Research Now.
TVB President-CEO Steve Lanzano said: “Local broadcast TV stations are the most trusted resource for urgent local news over-the-air and online. Our strong local platforms provide critical services to the public in times of emergency, both as witness to breaking developments and as rallying points for communities before, during and after urgent events. Data from the Hurricane Harvey Media Usage Study reveals that local communities continue to choose local TV news over all other resources to deliver the accurate and lifesaving information they need.”
The first major category 4 storm of the 2017 season, Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport at peak intensity late Friday, Aug. 25. Since then much of Southeastern Texas has been impacted by unprecedented rainfall and catastrophic flooding. With little time to prepare, local residents needed round-the-clock accurate, timely and reliable news coverage and local information essential to keeping them safe and informed.
Research Now surveyed 724 respondents from the markets of Houston and Corpus Christi on their news media usage related to Hurricane Harvey between Thursday (Aug. 24) evening and midnight Saturday (Aug. 26). Key insights from the study include:
- 89% of respondents cited local broadcast TV news as their top choice for information, followed by local broadcast TV station websites (45%) and national TV news (44%).
- Looking at daily time spent, respondents spent the most time with local TV news, at 3 hours and 31 minutes as compared to 1 hour for cable TV.
- Adult respondents selected local TV news (67%) as the best information resource on how to prepare for dangerous approaching weather roughly two times more than cable news (34%), the second-highest source.
- 84% of respondents said they trust news on local broadcast TV, compared to 68% for cable news and 35% for social media.
- Local TV stations’ digital assets were the No. 1 source for digital news with almost two hours of usage, twice that of social media. This was further confirmed by data obtained from TVB member stations’ websites in the area, such as KZTV.com and KRISTV.com in Corpus Christi, which saw dramatic increases between about 300% and 700% in page views (Aug. 24-28).
For more information about the Hurricane Harvey Media Usage study, click here.