Why Do Citizens Pay for Online Political News and Public Affairs? Socio-psychological Antecedents of Local News Paying Behaviour Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2020

start page

  • 547

end page

  • 563


  • 4


  • 21

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1461-670X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-9699


  • Local news organizations play a crucial role in informing rural or suburban communities about current events and politics. With the growing concentration of populations in large cities, many citizens may feel they are missing out on essential information about their local communities, thus affecting their knowledge about local issues and public policies. This study examines how readers" perceptions of the financial state of local news organizations, journalists" engagement with local communities and users" local content creation affect readers" paying behaviour for local news. Drawing on data from the Pew Research Center, results indicate that readers" perceptions of the financial state of local news organizations predict their paying behaviour. Second, findings show that journalists" engagement with their local communities and users" content creation are crucial factors for increasing the probability of paying for local news. Finally, readers" age is explored as a moderator between news organizations financial state and readers" paying behaviour. This study adds to the growing literature on the socio-psychological antecedents involved in paying behaviour for local news organizations.