In May & June 2015 NZ's "people powered change" platform Action Station ( @ActionStation ) conducted a survey of a sample of 3,773 of its members, asking them questions about their views on The State of NZ News Media. In the Storify Story below you will see the results as revealed on announcement via Twitter by Scoop Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.
But first a note on methodology from Action Station's Marianne Elliot. This is the first survey of this kind. While the headline results are remarkably clear - it is important to understand that this is a self-selecting survey, the methodology of which means that it probably reflects the views of an engaged, liberal politically aware group of mediaphiles.
Action Station's Marianne Elliot explained the methodology of the survey in a briefing note here >> "Action Station: #FutureOfNews #NZNewsSurvey Methodology".
In late May, following the #SaveCampbellLive campaign, ActionStation polled members on whether or not they wanted to continue campaigning on issues related to public good journalism. The question was: should we continue working to champion public interest journalism such as building support for a public service broadcaster?
The poll (by email) was sent to everyone who had participated in the Campbell Live campaign (and given permission to be emailed about similar campaigns). Of the 10,653 people who responded to the poll, almost 99% - 10,527 - were in favor of continuing to campaign on public interest journalist.
In order to develop a more detailed plan for future campaigning, we then sent a more detailed survey to our members. This survey was designed to get a better picture of the views of our members on public interest journalism, public broadcasting and the current state of the news media in New Zealand, and what they thought the problem was that needed fixing. We also asked respondents to rank four specific campaign ideas that had been suggested by our members.
Respondents were also asked to rate their satisfaction with a range of media outlets. In response to the question ”How satisfied are you with the way the following news media are going?” respondents could choose to rate them with 1 to 5 stars. Respondents were not required to rate all the media (i.e. they could skip to the next without giving a rating) but participation rates were high.
The survey was sent to 73,118 ActionStation members in an email giving people the choice to participate in two surveys: one on children’s health and this one, on public broadcasting. Of the 7852 responses received to both surveys, 3773 responses were to the public broadcasting survey. Some respondents may have completed both surveys.
Important note on the sample:
This survey was conducted to inform ActionStation campaigning choices and is not presented as representative of the population of New Zealand. The respondents to this survey are a self-selected subset of 73,118 active users of the ActionStation website. This is not a random sample, nor is it intended to be a representative sample of the population of New Zealand.
Scoop.co.nz Twitter Coverage of the Announcement
Topline results of the survey:
• 91% of respondents said that a healthy news media is ‘very important’ to a healthy democracy? Another 7% rated it as ‘important’ and the remaining 2% said it was ‘somewhat important’.
• 99% of respondents believed that access to news is a public right.
• When asked ‘What are you most concerned about in relation to access to news or the state of public good journalism in New Zealand today?’ respondents selected the following responses:
o 59% chose “Profit-driven programming prioritises entertainment over news’
o 35% chose ‘Political interference with news media’
o 5% chose ‘Funding cuts place unreasonable demands on our journalists’
o 2% chose ‘Other’
• When asked ”How satisfied are you with the way the following news media are going?” respondents gave the following average ratings (out of 5)
o Herald - 2.42
o Dominion Post - 2.53
o TVNZ - 2.04
o TV3 - 1.74
o Maori TV - 3.04
o Radio NZ - 3.54
o RadioLive - 2.15
o Stuff - 2.58
o Scoop - 2.52
o Metro - 2.35
o Listener - 2.94
o NBR - 2.24
We also asked respondents to give some demographic information, these questions were not compulsory, but most respondents (96-98% depending on the question) gave answers.
Gender of respondents:
• 64% Female
• 36% Male
Age of respondents:
• There were respondents in all age brackets from 18-24yrs through to 71+yrs
• The percentage of respondents in each age bracket gradually increased from the youngest (4% of respondents were aged 18-24) through to the oldest (12% of respondents were aged 71+) with only minor fluctuations in an otherwise steady increase with each age bracket.
Geographic location of respondents:
• The majority of respondents (58%) were from the main urban centres
o 31% Auckland
o 19% Wellington
o 8% Christchurch
• The remaining 42% of respondents were spread across New Zealand’s provinces, with the largest groups coming from Waikato, Canterbury, Northland and Bay of Plenty.
Full results of that survey are available online: https://actionstation.typeform.com/report/OXJbt5/kBt6
See also Scoop storify on the release of survey results on Twitter here: https://storify.com/Scoop/actionstation-member-nz-news-media-satisfaction-su