Flawed sur­vey

Record Observer - - Front Page -

The Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers re­cently asked cit­i­zens to re­spond to a sur­vey, sup­pos­edly to find out how cit­i­zens pre­fer to get gov­ern­ment news and in­for­ma­tion. How­ever, their sur­vey is flawed. They asked cit­i­zens to rank eight sources of in­for­ma­tion: pub­lic meet­ings, robo-calls or text, email from the Cham­ber of Com­merce, email from the county, QAC-TV, mail, so­cial me­dia and the county web­site. Tra­di­tional sources of news — news­pa­pers and ra­dio — are no­tably miss­ing from the list.

As your lo­cal news­pa­per, we find this om­mis­sion both shock­ing and trou­bling.

Ac­cord­ing to World Press Trends 2015 re­port, about 2.7 bil­lion adults to­day still read news­pa­pers in print, nearly half of the world’s adult pop­u­la­tion.

On­line, some 800 mil­lion ac­cess news­pa­per con­tent dig­i­tally, or nearly half of all desk­top In­ter­net users. There has never been a larger au­di­ence for news­pa­pers, the re­port says.

News­pa­pers — both print and on­line — pro­duce nearly $180 bil­lion in an­nual rev­enue, larger than the book pub­lish­ing, music or film in­dus­tries.

And read­ing the news­pa­per is not just some­thing older peo­ple do. The re­port found young peo­ple con­tinue to seek out news: seven in 10 of mil­len­ni­als get news on a daily ba­sis. Forty per­cent of them pay for at least one news spe­cific app or dig­i­tal sub­scrip­tion, and 16 per­cent pay for a print news­pa­per sub­scrip­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to read­er­ship data from Nielsen Scar­bor­ough’s 2014 News­pa­per Pen­e­tra­tion Re­port, 56 per­cent of those who con­sume a news­pa­per read it ex­clu­sively in print, while 11 per­cent also read it on desk­top or lap­top com­put­ers; 5 per­cent also read it on mo­bile; and another 11 per­cent read it in print, on desk­top and on mo­bile. In to­tal, more than eight-in-10 of those who read a news­pa­per do so in print, at least some­times. Only 5 per­cent read news­pa­pers ex­clu­sively on mo­bile de­vices.

News­pa­pers re­main vi­tal to their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and are cru­cial to the in­formed pop­u­lace that is es­sen­tial to democ­racy.

News­pa­pers are the most trusted of all me­dia, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study. News­pa­pers pro­vide re­li­able, ac­cu­rate news in print and on­line.

From cov­er­ing lo­cal and state govern­ments to school news and lo­cal sports, ac­ci­dents, fires and crime, birth and wed­ding an­nounce­ments and obit­u­ar­ies, pub­lic notices, lo­cal ads and coupons, pho­tos, videos, on­line news, tweets and posts, lo­cal news­pa­pers like the one in your hands or on the screen of your elec­tronic de­vice help keep com­mu­ni­ties con­nected and in­formed.

Lo­cal news­pa­pers tell the sto­ries of your lives and the lives of your friends, neigh­bors and ac­quain­tances, the lives of peo­ple you know and those you don’t, the lives of peo­ple who need help and those who are help­ing oth­ers.

Com­mu­nity news­pa­pers re­port on lo­cal res­i­dents and ma­jor events in their lives from birth to death and ev­ery­thing in be­tween — from high school and col­lege grad­u­a­tions, to en­gage­ments and weddings, to par­ent­hood and grand­par­ent­hood — a cy­cle of life in a com­mu­nity for gen­er­a­tions.

Through our print edi­tions, web­site, Face­book pages and Twit­ter ac­counts, we con­tinue to reach and en­gage read­ers as never be­fore. So, feel free to add news­pa­per to that flawed sur­vey — and note it would be your first choice had it been of­fered.

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