Printed surveys were distributed in a spring issue of Inside Illinois with the option to fill out the paper survey or do the survey online. Surveys were completed by 440 Inside Illinois readers (141 online and 299 printed). Highlights of the survey are below; a complete summary (including answers for each question and comments submitted) is available in PDF format online. If you do not have access to the Internet, call and we will send you a copy.
Survey says ...
Most receive Inside Illinois regularly (about 94.7 percent) and most receive it in their mailbox (70.7 percent). However, a few indicated they do not receive it at all (5.3 percent).
When asked how often they read some or all of Inside Illinois, most say they "Would not want to miss it" (63.7 percent) or read it occasionally (27.1 percent).
Those who don't read it said it was because 1) Don't have enough time, 2) Articles don't interest them and 3) They don't receive it.
More than 90 percent say they read "All of It" (13.8 percent); "Most of it" (41.7 percent) or "Some of it" (34.6 percent). Two percent said they read "none" of it.
Most feel the publication is Very Important (35.3 percent) or Important (49.1 percent) to learning about what is happening at the UI. And most felt the length of the articles was "Just about right" (87.9 percent).
Most keep their issue one week or less (63.9 percent), but a few keep it all year (2.8 percent). About half take it home and about a third said an additional person reads their copy at home (usually a spouse).
Most readers do not mind the advertisements in the paper (94.1 percent), and 43.3 percent frequent an advertiser because of their support of the publication.
Most felt the content was up-to-date (87.2 percent), interesting (86.2 percent) and the layout is easy to read (86.5 percent). Regarding coverage of different areas, most received Excellent or Good marks. The most popular stories are faculty/staff features (19.4 percent), news about administrative policies and employee benefits (17.6 percent) and research stories (17 percent). In retrospect, "What's the first thing you read in the paper?" seems like a silly question (184 said the front page), however, 43 said they jump straight to the "On the Job" staff member interview.
Calendar readers were split between the preferring the printed Inside Illinois calendar (47.3 percent) and the UI homepage or department calendar (38.3 percent).
Printed vs. Web
The Web vs. Printed issue was the most heated part of the survey. As far as current habits, only 2.4 percent said they Always or Usually read Inside Illinois online. 22.4 percent said Sometimes. However, a whopping 75 percent said Never, because they didn't know there was an online version (50.5 percent) or because they don't like to read news on the Web (24.9 percent).
After reviewing three online versions (ISSUU.COM, PDF and HTML versions), people were a little more willing to read online: 56.7 percent said "Yes, they would read it online" while 43.3 percent still said "No." However in the online comments and the final "Any suggestions" section, people were very opinionated. Twenty-three people indicated it was probably time to retire the print version and go to all online to save money and paper; however, 53 people begged us to keep the printed version. Reasons varied from saying they read it at lunch or while on the bus, they prefer a break from their computer, they don't have or like using a computer or don't like to read news on the Web. An additional 16 were a bit noncommittal about reading it online but felt it that might work if an e-mail reminder were sent out (much like we did during the summers that we were "online only").
- Faculty (22.1 percent); Academic Professional (45.6 percent), Civil Service (27.4 percent); Academic Hourly (2.4 percent), Extra Help (.7 percent) and Grad Student (1.7 percent).
- They have worked at the UI: Less than One Year (2.1 percent), 1-5 Years (18.6 percent), 5-10 Years (18.8 percent), 10-20 years (19.8 percent), More than 20 (22.4 percent) and retired (18.4 percent).
- They were 38.7 percent male and 61.3 percent female.
- Ages: 18-25 (0.7 percent), 26 to 35 (15.5 percent), 36 to 45 (17.4 percent), 46 to 55 (26.8 percent) and 56 or older (39.7 percent).