April 2010 – News & Information Programming

The April survey featured a series of questions that polled respondents about their use of news and information programming.

Below are the April survey questions, and selected responses from the 604 respondents.

Question #1 
How do you prefer to receive your news and information? Select all that apply.

April Question 1 

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“For in-depth coverage I enjoy PBS.”

“I listen to NPR while I am driving. The news is news, not chit-chat between announcements.”

“I like variety of sources and opinions, to better understand and form my own opinions.”

“When we want the full, balanced story we check the newspapers first or last.”

“WCPN is my principle news source from 5:30 am on. Diane Rehm for depth on issues.”

“I listen to NPR as my main source of news. I’m 26 & I choose not to own a TV.”

“Very troubled by the very liberal bias in mainstream TV & Newspapers - and PBS.”

“I just love NPR and the news on PBS stations, but the Plain Dealer is great for local news.”

“On TV only PBS and the NewsHour, I tend not to download podcasts, but to listen to them on-demand on the NPR app.”

“NPR is my most trusted source.”

“How long will free television and radio exist?”

“While I update what is happening from the AP during the day, my primary source of news is NPR. Long ago I correlated what I would read each day in the New York Times with what I heard on NPR and realized NPR was like an audio newspaper. I supplement NPR with in depth reports from PBS (McNeil-Lehrer and BBC). I watch the network news to see what most people are hearing.”

“Social media mainly for ‘pop culture’ news; for hard news, prefer public radio and newspapers.”

“I prefer to get all my news from the radio while I’m driving. I feel like I get the best use of my time. Newspaper is more entertainment to me than informative.”

“I receive much information via social media and home pages on AOL/Yahoo, etc. But so much of that is ‘breaking news’ and not yet fully formed. I prefer, still, to let others do the work of sifting thru all the data to present me with a thoughtful, consolidated report, such as I get in the newspaper or on public radio.”

“While I may hear things ‘word of mouth,’ I generally check things out through other sources before I absorb the news, or discuss it.”

“I get very overloaded if I am receiving news and information from every available source. It becomes too much to hear the same things over and over and over.”

“Word of mouth becomes more important as I feel more and more isolated from conversation about ‘things’ that are of interest to me.” 

Question #2 
How often do you pay attention to news and information broadcasts?

April Question 2

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“I don’t have a lot of time during the week, but I try to catch at least one news or information program each day.”

“Once or twice a day is enough. News is re-hashed over and over-way too much!”

“Weekends are really bad for news junkies around here. Hourly newscasts are either truncated or absent entirely.”

“I’ve noticed that much of the news these days is, in my opinion, repeated too many times.”

“It also depends what one considers ‘news.’ I am not interested in ‘ambulance chasing’ happenings but issues that have a lasting effect.”

“The most valuable and trustworthy information comes from the Diane Rehm show; then on PBS, Charlie Rose and the PBS NewsHour.” 

Question #3 
When you watch and/or listen to news and information programming, what is your primary purpose?

April Question 3

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“To receive independent and thoughtful programs, as you do provide.”

“The more listener participation, the less I like it. I prefer expert analysis.”

“To be entertained - to look at ignorance of others - too many issues have 3-5 sides, not just 2. Rarely hear these on WCPN.”

“To be impartially informed, however, this is becoming less possible. I expect public radio to be honest & professional - to be fair in broadcasting, however, the recent special on the abortion issue was poorly (done) and most prejudiced on this issue. In fact this has given me pause in supporting this station given the obvious support and favor given this issue. Very poorly done - no time given to the opposite point of view.”

“NPR does a far better job of reporting news rather than commenting on it than any other source.”

“I find programs like Diane Rehm’s to be very balanced and fair.”

“Since news is only in sound bites. There are no news analysts anymore. I always catch Bill Moyers.”

“News is serious stuff. Entertainment dumbs it down.”

“I love to find out what others in the world think about a topic on World Have Your Say.”

“Prefer balanced, intelligent reporting to opinionated flaming diatribes!”

“My goal when listening is to try to sift through the spin and then make an informed decision as to whether what I’m hearing is slanted one way or the other or not.”

“In commercial broadcasters’ editorials, (my perception of) their political bias gets in the way of the information.” 

Question #4 
Which ideastream-produced news and information programs and reports do you find useful in your daily routine?

April Question 4

Here are some thoughts from response to the “Other” option:

“I find Feagler to be annoying and don’t watch.”

“Diane Rehm. Just a bit more business news would help. Just indicating what the stock market is doing - DOW & NASDAQ figures, etc. Does not have to be in-depth. Eric Wellman might be able to do this.”

“Your national news with Jim Lehrer is my favorite because of the depth of coverage.”

“World Have Your Say. The Feagler program is a shield for Cleveland Business interests and status quo.”

“Watch more news/political programs on cable news channels than on PBS; however, to a lesser extent watch them too.”

“The new presentation on Nightly Business Report doesn’t give me as much news I can use as the old format!”

“Never heard of some of these. Why don’t you print a four page invert for WVIZ program guide that tells us when and where.”

“Other than the various newscasts and the 9-10am broadcasts (depending on if it is of interest to me) I occasionally listen to Feagler, City Club and NewsDepth. NewsDepth and State of Ohio I do not often catch. I love City Club Forum when I get to hear candidates for office.”

“Other programs on NPR - I find most of the items above not informational, and a bit opinionated.”

“Dan Moulthrop is probably the best out there in that he is always prepared. He asks and gets to the heart of the matter without the shrill that is found on cable or other outlets. A true professional in the best sense of the word.”

“I/We used to watch Jim Lehrer every night. The format has changed and due to that I find it lame east or west coast U.S. oriented with little value when it comes to Midwest news. It seems they have sacrificed their format and rely on a selected mélange of ‘experts’ to relay the ‘news.’ They used to tout the fact that they offered insights for people to form their own opinions, now they offer opinions from selected insights. Unless they change their format, future donations to PBS on my part are highly questionable. At six thirty, every night since January, we have hoped for the best but then switch over to network programming out of sheer boredom.” 

Question #5 
Have you participated in a conversation with an ideastream news and information program (like The Sound of Ideas®), through online comments, calling in to the program, emailing the host, or other means of communication?

April Question 5

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“Cleveland area news might be of little interest to this Mansfield resident.”

“Plain Dealer hosts should be moved to a weekend version. Yawn!”

“Putting thru a call takes so much time that the content of the program passes you by.”

“Do not have a computer and would not share ignorances with people less well informed.”

“And I’ve had the good fortune of having most of my emailed comments read on-air as well.”

“The format of the show(s) makes it hard to participate. Trying to get through to the on air hosts is nearly impossible. This needs to be addressed to make it more accessible.”

“I enjoy being part of the conversation when I have something to offer. Many times, someone else calls in with my point of view, so I can hear how guests respond to them, as well.”

“I really like this local interaction.”

“The Sound of Ideas has become a really terrific show. I wish I could listen to it every day, or at least more often.”

“I think my comments are usually ignored, because they often point out the elephant in the room.” 

Question #5 – Follow Up #1 
If you responded “Yes” to the previous question – what made you want to participate?

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“I am engaged and interested in subjects that affect us all, and I am not timid in expressing my views. Like to be a part of the conversation.”

“I felt an interviewee on Sound of Ideas needed to be confronted on inaccurate information he was spreading.”

“Topic was interesting and relevant because of where I live (crime and personal safety in ‘the Cleve’), but comments were made by the host and callers that seemed ignorant, uninformed or counterproductive. I felt another perspective was required.”

“Something in the topic or conversation struck me and I wanted to add my comments right away.” 

Question #5 – Follow Up #2 
If you responded “No” to the previous question – why did you choose not to participate?

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“I haven’t felt like I knew enough about the topics to contribute, whether through comments or good questions.”

“If I had a question or comment I would email it! I don’t think everyone should be on the radio. Most people babble.”

“I am usually working at the time, and it takes me exceptionally long to collect my thoughts and opinions. By the time I know what I’d want to say, the topic has already changed. But I enjoy hearing others’ thoughts.”

“I prefer to listen and make up my own mind. I rarely feel the need to convert others to my own way of thinking.”

“My purpose is to listen, not participate. If I really feel I have not gotten the info I was looking for, I might consider making contact, but so far, nothing that important has been left out.” 

Question #6 
Have you responded to any of these prior Listening Project surveys? (choose all that apply)

April Question 6

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“No I haven’t, but I would like my opinions heard. I am a frequent contributor to the Plain Dealer’s Editorial pages. I believe I have something to offer the public when it comes to commentary that may help people think and make more informed choices.”

“Not sure, maybe the January one on politics. It’s hard to keep track of all my involvements.”

“Your surveys are concise and do not take up a whole lot of time; however, I am always behind with reading the volume of e-mails I receive.”

“Enjoy it and feel my views/opinions are being heard.”

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