Reader survery results

WSU Today conducted a statewide readership survey in April 2006 and received responses from 849 faculty, staff and graduate students. The purpose of the survey was to help measure the effectiveness of WSU Today’s print and online publications and gain insights into how they can better meet faculty and staff needs. Following are some of the results:

Percent of publication read
Participants said they “usually” read the following percent of the WSU Today newspaper:

Percent  Readers
0%             08.2%
20%           24.1%
40%           23.2% 
60%           20.8%
80%           17.1%
100%         6.5%

So, cumulatively 67 percent of participants said they usually read 40 percent or more of the newspaper; 44 percent said they usually read 60 percent or more of the newspaper; and eight percent do not usually read the paper.

Why a nonreader?
People who “usually” do not  read the newspaper were asked their reason(s). The leading reasons included:
No time   114    
Don’t receive   97  
Uninteresting   67  
Don’t care   20
Too long   7
Not accurate   2

Interest in topics
Participants were asked to rate their level of interest in regular news topics. (The scale was 1 to 5, with 1 “no interest” and 5 “very interested”). The average ratings per topic were:

Events Calendar-3.67
Administrative Decisions-3.65
Staff Features-3.57
Research News-3.57
Awards/Honors -3.39
Regional Campus News-3.37
Faculty Features-3.33
Classified Job Openings-3.18
AP Council-2.65
Faculty Senate-2.62
Faculty Job Openings-2.27

Preferred format
Format -Respondents
Print only -184
Online only -164
Print and online -441
General ratings
Using contrasting adjectives, readers were asked to rate WSU Today on a scale of 1 to 5, respectively:
Inaccurate vs. Accurate-4.2
Difficult vs. Easy to read and follow -4.1
Uninteresting vs. Interesting -3.6
Late vs. Timely -3.5
Articles Too Short vs. Too Long-3.1

Receives WSU Announcements via e-mail?
Yes 632
No 217

Frequency in visiting the WSU Today website
Daily -34
When prompted in WSU Announcements-311
Rarely -131
Never -95

WSU Today online services used
Participants said they use the following WSU Today services/links:

Search (past articles, issues)-321
E-mail articles to a friend/colleague-148
Highway conditions (link to live state reports)-144
Links to national and regional print, radio and online news-139
WSU Sports news-137
Weather Channel link-108
Other university website links-88
Dilbert cartoon -68
Book reviews (NY Times, and …)-54
C-Span (new link to live radio
coverage Wash., D.C. events)-12

Your source for WSU news
Participants rated how much they depend on EACH of the following sources for accurate campus/university news. This was a 1-5 rating scale with 1 “never” and 5 “consistently.”

News source-Rating
WSU Announcements-3.99
WSU Today print -3.30
Evergreen -2.89
WSU Today website -2.85
Area newspapers -2.67
Faculty/staff website – 2.26
Radio/television -2.23
WSU News Service -2.00

Thanks again to all faculty, staff and graduate students who participated in the survey.

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