Wednesday, 14 October 2009


This questionnaire will help me to create a successful newspaper, based on the feedback I recieve. This will also help me decided upon the newspaper I will create: whether it may be a national or ultra local paper etc.

The following questions are based on local newspapers in your area. This is a mulitple choice questionnaire unless specified otherwise.

1) Are you male or female?
[] Male
[] Female

2) How old are you?
[] Under 18
[] 19 - 30
[] 31 - 40
[] 41 - 50
[] Over 60

3) Do you purchase a local newspaper? If not, does your household?
[] Yes
[] No
[] Sometimes

4) What type of newspaper do you purchase and what is it called?

5) When do you purchase your local newspaper?
[] Daily
[] Weekly
[] Twice a week
[] Monthly
[] Yearly

6) Why do you buy your local newspaper? (If more than one, please specify)
[] Because I like to know what's going on in my area
[] Because I like to find out about future events
[] Because I like to see if there's anything I can do to help my area
[] Because I like to enter competitions and complete crosswords

7) What is the last story that caught your attention and what was it about?

8) Newspapers use a process called "dead donkey" in order to fill in the spaces of some newspapers. These are stories which contain very little detail and are often ignored by readers. Do you read these smaller stories?
[] Yes
[] No
[] Sometimes

9) Have you ever paid attention to a specific advertisement in your local newspaper, and thus considered into buying the product? If so, what kind of advertisement was is?
[] Yes (Please specify ___________________________________ )
[] No

10) What kind of photos do you expect in a local newspaper?
[] Good quality photos
[] Bad quality photos
[] Boring photos
[] Informative photos (conveying a message)

11) Do you feel that the containment of images are beneficial in your newspaper?
[] Not at all
[] Sort of
[] Yes, definitely

12) In your opinion, does your newspaper attract you visually? If so, what?
[] Yes ____________________________________________________ (Please specify)
[] No

13) Do you consider the price you pay for your local newspaper to be reasonable? (Please write down the price you pay for your newspaper next to 'Yes' if specified)
[] Yes _______
[] No

14) Finally, what, if anything, would you change about your local newspaper?

Thank you for taking the time to fill out this questionnaire. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Questionnaire Feedback and Results

After creating the questionnaire, I decided to hand it out to 50 people, ranging from the age of 16 up to 40. I felt that this specific age group actually read newspapers, due to the maturity of these ages. I also felt that 50 pages of feedback is just the right proportion of information in which I can benefit from.
The results for all 14 questions are as follows:

1) 64% (32/50) were male
36% (18/50) were female

2) 40% (20/50) were 18 or under
34 (22/50) were 19 - 30
12 (6/50) were 31 - 40
8 (4/50) were 41 - 50
6 (3/50) were over 60

3) 100% (50/50) all purchase a local newspaper, or their household does.

4) Purchases range from; The Harrogate Advertiser (80%:40/50), The Knaresborough Post (10%:5/50) and The Ripon Gazette (4%:2/50)

5) All 100 (50/50) purchase their newspaper weekly, however, they also purchase other newspapers which do not benefit their local area (e.g. The Daily Mail, The Mirror) daily or monthly.

6) 44% (22/50) ticked all the boxes. 46% (23/50) specified the "Because I like to know what's going on in my area" option.

7) Local news headlines differed variously. Most speculation consquenced from the death of Michael Jackson, Swine Flu, and politics.

8) 60% (30/50) ticked the "sometimes" option. 30% (15/50) ticked the "no" option and the other 10% (5/50) opted for "yes"

9) 73% (38/50) specified "no" to reading advertisements.

10) 80% (40/50) specified the "good quality" option. 20% of those also opted for the "boring photos" option.

11) 62% (31/50) opted for "definitely". 38% (18/50) opted for sort of or not at all.

12) The majority of the feedback said that images and interesting headlines attract them towards a newspaper.

13) 98% (48/50) agreed that the price they pay for their local newspaper is reasonable.

14) Changes differed from:
- "there should be less so-called "dead donkey" stories as they seem irrelevant and no one really pays them any attention"
- "main headlines should be more important, e.g. Something tragic as opposed something which isn't very important"
- "more pictures"
- "larger writing for us old ones who cannot read very well!"

82% (41/50) felt that no changes should be applied to their local newspaper.

My Mission Statement

It is my aim to create a successful newspaper for the Harrogate area. Due to this, the newspaper I am creating needs to be ultra local, as the newspaper will include news relevant to the Harrogate area only. I also aim to target 21-41 year olds, as this age group carried the majority of people who read newspapers in my questionnaire. The majority of the people tested were also male, so the articles I include on the first two pages of my local newspaper may potentially be male bias. Because I have chosen to target an audience of above 21, the articles I choose to write about need be relevent to that age group. The news values I wish to include within my newspaper are going to be, proximity (as this will apply to people living in the Harrogate area), and social and human significance (as some articles may affect all people living in the Harrogate area). I do not wish to include the value politics as politics is normally advertised in national newspapers. The newspaper will be 75p, as I will gain extra income from the advertisements featured in my newspaper. Other factors such as layout and structure will be later considered in the production.