Poll: Is a local newspaper important?

The Globe poll online as of Sunday evening): Do you think it’s important to have a local newspaper?

No, online media can fill the gap — 18 per cent

No, I don’t read my local paper 11 per cent

Yes, a newspaper keeps me informed 46 per cent

Yes, a newspaper holds government accountable 26 per cent

I suppose journalists could find comfort in a majority answering “yes.” But the 11 per cent of non-readers and 18 per cent of believers in “online media” are disconcerting. Unfortunately the question and answers are muddy: no definition of “online media” is supplied, and online poll respondents are those using “online media.” Do respondents believe that the Globe and Mail online is as able to hold “government accountable” as the Globe and Mail’s physical dead-tree counterpart? Or do they think bloggers and “citizen journalists” fill the gap? And what’s a “local” newspaper?