imageA surprising note in Pew Research's new analysis of how Americans gleen information about the communities they live in: newspapers really matter, in the Sally Field Oscar moment kind of way. Seven out of 10 survey respondents say that if newspapers went away, they'd be at a real loss as to how to find out what's going on in the neighborhood. Less surprising perhaps is the growing importance of online sources. Pew notes that the data "sheds light on the emerging role of the internet as people seek local news and information. The internet is defined here as web-only online destinations. For adults generally, the internet is a main source for information about restaurants and other local businesses, and it is tied with newspapers as a top source for material about housing, jobs and schools—all areas that place a special value on consumer input. Yet when one looks at the 79% of Americans who are online, the internet is the first or second most relied-upon source for 15 of the 16 local topics examined. For adults under 40, the web is first for 11 of the top 16 topics—and a close second on four others." A tipping point in the making. Read More ...