A doctoral study out of the Missouri School of Journalism may have just formalize the new classification of local media. For time, local news has been network TV syndicates, local dailies and then other combinations of public broadcast or less frequent newspapers. The online world has mirrored that, generally, except for local blogs here and there.
Generally speaking, the data from the study is interesting. Maybe the only thing that leaves it as an outlier is the fact that survey was available by links on these sites, so it was dealing with a known audience. Still, with more than 1,100 respondents across 19 sites, you get an idea that there is something different going on in the online community news realm.