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.