Tuesday, June 03, 2008

College students still read campus newspapers

While professional newspapers are grappling with falling readership, particularly among Facebook-crazed college students, student newspapers are still widely read by their target audience.

That's the word from Alloy Media + Marketing, which just announced results of a readership survey of more than 1,200 college students from 550 universities across 50 states.

The study found that more than three-quarters, or 76 percent, of college students surveyed had read their college newspaper in the past month. Readership was highest at campuses with daily papers, where 92 percent had read a student newspaper in the previous month. By comparison, just over one-third of students reported reading their daily community paper at least weekly.

More than half of students, 55 percent, reported reading their campus paper in the last week. And of those dedicated readers, considerably more than half stated they read it at least three issues a week.

“The college newspaper continues to hold its value with students as a key source for news and information and despite growth in technology and new media options, we consistently mark very strong audiences who rely on this source to maintain a connection to their campus community and local happenings,” Samantha Skey, EVP Strategic Marketing, Alloy Media + Marketing, said in a press release issued by the company.

Interestingly, though Internet readership of college papers is rising, less than 20 percent said they had read their campus newspaper online in the past 30 days.

The study findings add support for the idea that it's premature for most student newspapers to ditch their print editions and move to online-only publishing. Unlike many professional newspapers, student newspapers remain popular and potentially lucrative endeavors.

Read Brandweek's report on the study.

Hat tip to Yumi Wilson of San Francisco State University for alerting us to this study.


Greg Linch said...

The Miami Hurricane has seen an increase in both print and online readers this past year. What's interesting regarding the online stats is that less than 20 percent of registered users are students. The rest are alumni, prospective students, parents, etc.

Approximately 15 percent of the entire student body is registered (undergrad and grad) and it surprising how few students know about or visit the Web site. Hopefully a big PR push this coming year will help.

We also saw a significant increase in ad revenue, which is due to the business manager's hard work.

albert said...

A big part of it probably has to do with how easily accessible, and FREE, campus newspapers are.

I know I can't walk to class without passing at least 2 or 3 drop points in arms reach. If I take a few steps, that jumps up even higher. =P

Jay Valento said...

I find college papers to be targeted to what students and alumni want to know about...the school, sports and events.

General newspapers cover a broad scope of topics and readership is smaller even though their circulation is massive.

The Black Student said...

This isn't surprising, considering the fact that not only are these newspapers free, but also they focus on campus issues. There aren't too many different media sources that are concerned with some of the more average aspects of college life. While big newspapers have to compete with a much larger group of media sources.

But, anyway, good website. Very interesting.

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