There hasn't been much other than bad news at the state's two biggest papers over the last few months so here's a little good news for the folks at the Raleigh News&Observer and Charlotte Observer- they're more popular within their coverage areas than just about any politician in the state.
Statewide 31% of voters have a favorable opinion of the News&Observer with 15% viewing it negatively. But in the Triangle the numbers are much better, with 63% of respondents having a positive take compared to 16% dissenting.
There is a pretty significant party divide in those numbers, with 72% of Democrats but only 51% of Republicans across the region giving the paper good reviews. 67% of independents are positive as well. Somewhat surprisingly older voters, the most reliable paper readers, give the N&O its lowest marks at 56/22, although that could simply be a reflection of folks over 65 being more conservative.
The Charlotte Observer's overall numbers are 25/16, but within the greater Charlotte region they're 47/33.
There is actually much less of a political divide for the Observer than there is for the N&O. 50% of Democrats and 51% of Republicans alike have a positive opinion of the paper. Across ideological lines 50% of liberals and 46% of moderates and conservatives give the paper good reviews.
Barack Obama's getting the best statewide approval ratings of any of the major politicians in North Carolina right now with a net review of +13. At +47 for the N&O and +14 for the Observer, they're both beating that. The newspaper industry may be having a hard time but it looks like voters may still have more universally warm feelings for their papers than their politicians.
Full results here.