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Growing Lifelong Readers

A Study of the Impact of Student Involvement with Newspapers on Adult Readership

Prepared for: The Newspaper Association of America Foundation

Prepared by: Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo, Inc.

Table of Contents

» Introduction
» Methodology
» Overview
» Detailed Findings

1. Newspaper Usage in School
2. Defining and Profiling the Newspaper Involvement Index
3. Demographic Profile of Sample and Newspaper Involvement Index
4. Parental and Family Background Factors and Involvement with Newspapers
5. Evaluation of Usage of Newspapers in School
6. "Getting Started" with Newspapers
7. School Newspapers
8. Current Newspaper Readership and Delivery Patterns
9. "Impact" of Newspaper Exposure as a Student on Current Newspaper Readership
10. Exploring Other Potential "Impacts" of Newspaper Involvement Programs

» Conclusions

The NAA Foundation strives to develop tomorrow´s readers through support of educational programs, quality youth journalism and the scholastic press. These efforts are aimed at encouraging young people to acquire and value information from newspapers.

Industry research shows that for more than three decades, newspapers have been facing a generational challenge. Not only are young people less likely to read newspapers, but when they do read newspapers, they tend to do so less frequently. Market research indicates that newspaper readership patterns are largely determined by the time a person reaches 25 to 30 years of age.

It is important that the NAA Foundation assess the impact its newspaper programs are having on building readership. An investigation on the factors that affect readership will provide valuable insight on the effectiveness of Foundation programs, and how these programs are helping the newspaper industry develop the readership habit at a young age.

The study is based on a nationally represented sample of 1,500 men and women between the ages of 18 and 34.

The sample was obtained through a national random digit dial sample of households with telephones. All households were screened for the presence of an 18-to-34-year-old. The data were weighted to reflect the sex, age, race and region of the more than 67 million young adults in the United States.

Unweighted
Sample
Weighted
Universe
##
Total Age 18-34:1,50067,030,000
Northeast28412,180,000
Midwest33914,980,000
South53524,140,000
West34215,730,000

Interviewing for the study was conducted between June 17 and July 2, 2004. The average interview length was 15 minutes.

Results of the survey results shown on total are accurate within a range of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. All statistical testing was conducted at the 90% confidence level, meaning you can be 90% confident that the differences indicated are real and not the result of random fluctuation.

The following are the major findings emerging from this study of the impact of student involvement with newspapers on adult readership.

1. Use of Newspapers in School

Newspapers are widely used in school on either a formal or an informal basis. For example, among those who attended high school, 68% say they had some type of exposure to newspapers in school.

Used Newspapers at various Educational Levels
Elementary School42%
Middle/Junior High56%
High School68%
College51%

2. Exposure to Newspapers is Often Informal

Much of the exposure to newspapers in school is quite informal and involves such things as:

  • Cutting out articles and stories and bringing them to school
  • Having a class where a teacher referred to newspaper articles
  • Talking about newspaper articles in class

3. Distribution of Newspapers in the Classroom is Much Less Common

Generally speaking, only about four out of ten 18-34-year-olds who claim they used newspapers at various educational levels actually had newspapers distributed to them in their classroom - the figure is slightly higher in high school (50%).

4. Newspaper Involvement Index

In order to assess the impact of formal programs, we created an index of exposure to two key types of efforts in elementary, middle and high school:

  • Distribution of newspapers in the classroom
  • Having newspapers integrated into the curriculum as part of social studies, reading math or another subject.

These two items were combined into an index with scores that ran from 6 (exposed to both types of efforts at all three levels) to 0 - no exposure at any level.

Newspaper Involvement Index Score

The Newspaper Involvement Index scores were divided into three levels:
High:These individuals had the greatest exposure to formal newspaper involvement programs, from elementary school through high school.
Medium:These individuals had some exposure. Typically newspapers were part of the curriculum, but were not distributed.
Low:These individuals had no exposure to a formal curriculum or to newspapers being distributed in the classroom.

Size of the Groups

The smallest of the three groups are those with the greatest involvement with newspapers in school (23% of all young adults). The largest group (45%) is those with a moderate level of involvement. One in three (32%) had no newspaper involvement in school.

5. "Impact" of Newspaper Involvement on Current Newspaper Readership

In order to assess the potential impact of student newspaper involvement on adult newspaper readership, we looked at regular newspaper readership among individuals who were categorized as high, medium or low on the Newspaper Involvement Index and found that there is a very strong relationship. More than six out of ten of those with high newspaper exposure during childhood are regular readers as adults, compared to only 38% of those with no exposure. This is a huge difference, one that is highly significant statistically.

Used Newspapers at various Educational Levels
Total Sample
"Newspaper Involvement Index"
47%
High62%
Medium47%
Low38%

This same relationship holds for regular Sunday readership and yesterday readership.

6. Is the Apparent "Impact" of Student Involvement Real, or is it Due to Some other Factor?

The obvious question that emerges from this very strong relationship between the Newspaper Involvement Index and adult newspaper readership is whether the apparent relationship is caused by some other factor such as parental background factors, family income, etc.

In order to control for these other factors, we examined the impact of high/medium/low exposure when all of the obvious background factors were equal. For example, if we control for family income by eliminating those individuals who said their families were more affluent than average or less affluent than average, we find that the impact of newspaper exposure is quite significant even among only those of average family income. The results of this analysis indicate that the strong impact of childhood newspaper exposure holds even when one controls for:

  • Father´s education
  • Mother´s education
  • Newspapers in the household as a child
  • Parents readership and discussion of newspaper contents
  • And, family´s wealth

7. Other Consequences of Newspaper Involvement

In addition to exploring the potential impact of newspaper involvement on adult newspaper readership, the current study also explored the potential impact on young adults and their:

  • Media preferences for news and information
  • Interest in news, politics and sports
  • Voting

The results indicate that newspaper exposure among students:

  • Is associated with young adults´ preference for newspapers over other media
  • Is associated with greater interest in news, politics and professional sports
  • Is not strongly associated with a greater likelihood of voting, though it is directionally tied once you control for age

8. School Newspaper Readership

School newspapers become increasingly common through middle school into high school. Where available, the majority of students read them at least occasionally. Just over one out of two recall their school newspapers as excellent/good, rising to seven out of ten in college.

9. Participation in School Newspaper Production

Relatively few students actually recall personal involvement with their school newspapers.

This study is the first comprehensive look at the potential impact of newspaper involvement programs on adult newspaper readership. The results make clear that newspaper involvement programs have an impact:

  • They are associated with higher levels of adult newspaper readership
  • They are associated with higher levels of interest in news
  • They are associated with a stronger preference for newspapers as a source of news and information
REMEMBER USING A NEWSPAPER AT VARIOUS EDUCATIONAL LEVELS
(Base: Those who attended respective school)
YesNoNot Sure
School
Elementary42%53%5%
Middle/Junior High56%40%4%
High School68%29%3%
College51%47%2%


RECALL TYPES OF NEWSPAPER USAGE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
(Base: Attended elementary school)
YesNoNot Sure
Recall Any Newspaper Usage42%53%5%
Types of Use Recalled*
Cutting out articles or stories and bringing them to school84%15%1%
Have a class where a teacher referred to newspaper articles80%17%3%
Talking about newspaper articles in class80%17%3%
Completing a school project that involved using a newspaper77%20%3%
Having a class where using a newspaper was integrated into the curriculum as part of social studies, reading, math or another subject70%27%3%
Reading a newspaper for social studies or civics68%29%4%
Having a class where newspapers were distributed to the students43%54%3%
* based on those who recalled using newspapers in school


Types of Newspaper Usage Recalled
in Middle School/Junior High School

The majority (56%) of those who attended middle school/junior high school recall using newspapers in the classroom. As in elementary school, apart from actually distributing newspapers in the classroom (which 44% recall) all of the potential uses explored were very widespread. For example 91% recall talking about newspaper articles in class.

RECALL TYPES OF NEWSPAPER USAGE IN MIDDLE/JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
(Base: Attended middle/junior high school)
YesNoNot Sure
Recall Any Newspaper Usage56%40%4%
Types of Use Recalled*
Talking about newspaper articles in class91%8%1%
Have a class where a teacher referred to newspaper articles88%10%2%
Cutting out articles or stories and bringing them to school85%14%1%
Reading a newspaper for social studies or civics80%18%2%
Completing a school project that involved using a newspaper80%19%1%
Having a class where using the a newspaper was integrated into the curriculum as part of social studies, reading, math or another subject74%23%3%
Having a class where newspapers were distributed to the students44%53%3%
* based on those who recalled using newspapers in middle/junior high school


Types of Newspaper Usage Recalled in High School

More than two thirds of respondents recall using newspapers in high school. Among those who used newspapers in high school, 50% recall a class where newspapers were distributed and 33% recall taking a course that covered journalism or newspaper production.

RECALL TYPES OF NEWSPAPER USAGE IN HIGH SCHOOL
(Base: Attended high school)
YesNoNot Sure
Recall Any Newspaper Usage68%29%3%
Types of Use Recalled*
Talking about newspaper articles in class92%7%1%
Have a class where a teacher referred to newspaper articles91%8%1%
Completing a school project that involved using a newspaper83%16%1%
Reading a newspaper for social studies or civics82%17%1%
Cutting out articles or stories and bringing them to school82%17%1%
Having a class where using the a newspaper was integrated into the curriculum as part of social studies, reading, math or another subject77%22%1%
Having a class where newspapers were distributed to the students50%49%1%
Taking a journalism or newspaper production class33%67% < 0.5%
* based on those who recalled using newspapers in high school


Types of Newspaper Usage Recalled in College

Among those who attended college, newspaper usage in school declines relative to high school, though it is still widespread with one out of two (51%) saying they recall using a newspaper. Among those who recall using a newspaper in college, nearly nine out of ten (87%) recalled attending a class where a professor referred to newspaper articles.

RECALL TYPES OF NEWSPAPER USAGE IN COLLEGE
(Base: Attended college)
YesNoNot Sure
Recall Any Newspaper Usage51%47%2%
Types of Use Recalled*
Have a class where the professor referred to newspaper articles87%13% < 0.5%
Completed a project that involved using a newspaper77%22%1%
Reading a newspaper as a course requirement53%47% < 0.5%
Taking a journalism or newspaper production class24%76% < 0.5%


Defining & Profiling the Newspaper Involvement Index

The Creation of a Measure of Involvement with Newspapers Among Students: The Newspaper Involvement Index

The types of newspaper usage that represent the most formal, organized approach to newspapers among students are:

  • Having a class where newspapers were distributed to the students
  • Having a class where using a newspaper was integrated into the curriculum as part of social studies, reading, math or another subject

Our Newspaper Involvement Index measures the frequency with which these two types of involvement took place in elementary, middle, and high school (college involvement is not included since some respondents are still in college).

The measure of involvement is divided into three categories:

  • High (4+) - those whose number of "yes" responses for the two types of involvement equaled four or more across all three levels of schooling (elementary through high school).
  • Medium (1-3) - those whose number of "yes" responses for the two types of involvement equaled between one and three across all three levels of schooling.
  • Low (0) - those who did not have a "yes" response for either of the two types of involvement across all three levels of schooling.

Newspaper Involvement Index

  • High Score on the Index. Those who emerged with high ratings on the Index had very widespread exposure to the integration of newspapers into the school curriculum at every level of education and a majority had newspapers distributed in their classroom at every level.
  • Low Score on the Index. At the other extreme, those who emerged with a low rating on the Newspaper Involvement Index had no exposure to newspapers at any level of school.
  • Medium Score on the Index. Those in the middle, with a medium score on the Index tended to have newspapers integrated into the curriculum but tended not to have newspapers distributed in their classroom.
TWO ITEMS DEFINING THE NEWSPAPER INVOLVEMENT INDEX*
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Newspapers Distributed in Classrooms in:
Elementary School43%70%BC22%C0%
Middle School44%82%BC20%C0%
High School50%91%BC35%C0%
Newspapers Integrated into the Curriculum in:
Elementary School70%86%BC63%C0%
Middle School74%97%BC68%C0%
High School77%97%BC82%C0%
B, C significantly higher than specified segment at the 90% confidence level.
* Based on those who recall using newspapers in respective school.

Size of the Newspaper Involvement Index Groups

Slightly fewer than one in four 18-34 year olds can be characterized as "high" on the Newspaper Involvement Index; 45 are "medium" and 32% are "low".

Demographic Profile of Sample And Newspaper Involvement Index

Those with high exposure to newspapers as students are more likely to be:

  • Younger (18-24)
  • Female
  • Non-white
  • From a small city
DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE
(Base: Total)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Age
18-2441%55%BC43%C27%
25-3459%45%57%C73%AB
Gender
Male51%47%50%54%A
Female49%53%C50%46%
Education
High School Graduate or Less33%37%32%33%
Some College33%36%C34%C29%
College Graduate34%27%34%A38%A
Employment Status
Employed (Net)70%66%72%A71%
Full-Time56%48%57%A60%A
Part-Time14%18%C15%11%
Unemployed10%10%11%10%
Retired2%1% < 0.5%3%AB
Student12%16%C13%C7%
Homemaker6%8%B4%9%B
Household Income
Under $15,00010%10%9%10%
$15,000 - $24,99914%14%13%15%
$25,000 - $34,99916%18%14%17%
$35,000 - $49,99919%17%18%20%
$50,000 - $74,99920%19%24%C17%
$75,000 - $99,99910%10%10%9%
$100,000 or more11%12%12%12%
Mean$54,000$53,900$55,000$53,400


DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE
(Base: Total)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Race/Ethnicity
White70%62%71%A75%A
African American12%18%BC10%12%
Hispanic13%15%C14%C10%
Asian4%4%4%3%
Native American1%1%1% < 0.5%
Children in Household46%44%43%51%AB
Region
Northeast18%19%18%17%
Midwest22%20%24%22%
South36%34%36%38%
West24%27%22%23%
Type of Area
Major city10%9%9%11%
Suburb of a major city12%11%12%12%
Large city11%10%12%11%
Suburb of a large city15%15%16%16%
Small city26%29%C27%C20%
Rural area26%26%24%30%B
Home Ownership
Owners69%69%67%71%
Renters31%31%33%29%
A, B, C significantly higher than specified segment at the 90% confidence level


Parental and Family Background
Factors & Involvement with Newspapers

18-34 year old respondents say that when growing up:

  • 67% had parents who read a newspaper regularly
  • 53% had discussions about events in newspapers a few times a week or more
  • 59% say their parents were average in terms of income
  • One out of two say their mother and father were high school graduates
FREQUENCY OF PARENT´S READERSHIP DURING RESPONDENT´S MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL YEARS
(Base: Total)
Total
Almost every day46%
Regularly21%
Occasionally18%
Hardly ever/never/not sure15%


FREQUENCY OF DISCUSSION AT HOME ABOUT EVENTS IN NEWSPAPERS WHEN GROWING UP
(Base: Those Answering)
Total
Almost every day30%
A few times a week36%
Very infrequently15%
Seldom or never19%


HOW WELL OFF PARENTS WERE WHEN RESPONDENT WAS GROWING UP
(Base: Those Answering)
Total
Extremely well off3%
Very well off14%
Average59%
Not too well off15%
Or poor9%


EDUCATIONAL LEVEL OF RESPONDENT AND PARENTS
(Base: Those Answering)
RespondentFatherMother
Education
High School grad or less33%53%53%
Some College or more33%15%19%
College Graduate34%32%28%


Parental and Family Background Factors
and the Newspaper Involvement Index

Generally speaking, there are only limited associations between parental and family background factors and the Newspaper Involvement Index. Newspaper exposure is not tied, for example, to parents´ education. Even the association between parents´ readership when growing up and exposure to newspapers in school when growing up is limited.

There is an association between a family´s reading and discussing newspaper contents and newspaper involvement. Perhaps this was a consequence of student newspaper programs.

PARENTAL AND FAMILY BACKGROUND FACTORS AND NEWSPAPER INVOLVEMENT INDEX
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Father Education
High School or Less53%51%52%53%
Some College15%16%15%16%
College Graduate32%33%33%31%
Mother Education
High School or Less53%50%53%57%A
Some College19%20%19%17%
College Graduate28%30%28%26%
Parents read newspaper
Almost everyday46%48%C48%C42%
Regularly21%24%B18%22%B
Occasionally18%17%19%18%
Hardly Ever/never/not sure15%11%15%A18%A
Parents read & discussed newspaper
Almost everyday30%37%BC29%C24%
A few times a week36%39%37%33%
Very infrequently15%13%16%16%
Seldom or never19%11%18%A27%AB
Family Wealth
Extremely/Very Well Off17%21%BC16%14%
Average59%59%60%58%
Not to Well Off/Poor24%20%24%28%A
A, B, C significantly higher than specified segment at the 90% confidence level.


Evaluation of Usage of Newspapers in School

Respondents describe using newspapers in school in very positive terms - as not only educational (92%) and informative (92%), but often: fun (65%), entertaining (69%) and a welcome change (75%). Those most involved with newspapers as students (high on the Index) tend to be most positive in their evaluations.

Respondents also often describe using newspapers more positively than using traditional textbooks including:

  • 34% who say it was more enjoyable
  • 31% who say they got more out of it
DESCRIPTION OF USING NEWSPAPER AS PART OF COURSEWORK WHEN IN SCHOOL
(Base: Total)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Saw newspapers as:
Educational92%97%C96%C82%
Informative92%97%C95%C83%
Useful91%98%BC94%C81%
Relevant86%94%BC88%C77%
A welcome change75%86%BC78%C65%
Entertaining69%85%BC69%C58%
Fun65%78%BC66%C53%
Boring25%24%27%25%
B, C significantly higher than specified segment at the 90% confidence.


COMPARISON OF ENJOYMENT OF NEWSPAPERS VS. TRADITIONAL TEXTBOOKS IN SCHOOL
(Base: Total Answering)
Newspaper Involvement Index
TotalHighMediumLow
Enjoyed using a newspaper
More34%41%C36%C25%
Same53%49%53%57%A
Less13%10%1118%AB
Net Difference (More-Less)+21%+31%BC+25%C+7%


COMPARISON OF ENJOYMENT OF NEWSPAPERS VS. TRADITIONAL TEXTBOOKS IN SCHOOL
(Base: Total Answering)
Newspaper Involvement Index
TotalHighMediumLow
Benefits from a newspaper
More31%37%C33%C24%
Same55%53%54%55%
Less14%10%13%21%AB
Net Difference (More-Less)+17%+27%BC+20%C+3%


"Getting Started" with Newspapers

Among males, sports (43%) leads as the reason that first attracted them to newspapers, followed by comics (26%) and front page news (22%). Women cite comics (28%) and news (24%), followed by a variety of other factors. Most young adults say they began reading in their mid-teens.

PARTS OF THE NEWSPAPER THAT FIRST ATTRACTED RESPONDENT TO NEWSPAPERS
(Base: Total Answering)
[A][B]
TotalMaleFemale
Sports27%43%B11%
Comics27%26%28%
Front page/news23%22%24%
Local current events11%8%14%A
Classified Ads9%8%11%
Entertainment8%5%10%A
No answer6%3%4%
Other ads4%3%4%
National news4%4%4%
Movies/movie listings3%3%3%
Puzzles and games2%2%2%
Ads for cars2%3%B1%
News from your school2%2%1%
Contests1%1%1%
Content specifically for children (e.g. mini page)1%1%1%
Local High School Sports1%1%1%
Content specifically for teens1%1% < 0.5%
Other12%10%15%A
A, B significantly higher than specified segment at the 90% confidence level.


AGE WHEN BEGAN TO READ A NEWSPAPER
(Base: Total)
Total
Under 1014%
10 - 1114%
12 - 1322%
14 - 1629%
17 - 2113%
21 and over4%
Not Sure4%


REASONS BEGAN TO READ A NEWSPAPER
(Base: Total)*
[A][B]
TotalMaleFemale
The content57%60%B53%
Specific Sections30%35%B25%
Sports12%20%B4%
Comics9%10%8%
Classifieds3%3%3%
Other specific sections11%9%14%
News/Information26%25%27%
Specific topics16%15%16%
Local news7%6%7%
Current events6%5%6%
World news4%4%4%
Other specific topics3%3%2%
To know the news/what´s going on10%10%9%
Things of interest to me4%3%4%
Family members14%12%17%A
For school10%9%12%A
It´s available around the house4%5%4%
* Major mentions - mentions of 2% or less in total not shown.


School Newspapers

The presence of a school newspaper grows from elementary school through college and readership grows as well. Among all respondents:

  • 17% had a school paper in elementary school
  • 46% in middle/junior high
  • 78% in high school
  • 84% in college

In high school and college a majority of respondents read their school paper on at least an occasional basis. School newspaper readership tends to be higher among females.

A majority rated their school newspapers excellent or good and seven out of ten rated their college newspaper excellent or good. Relatively few young adults were personally involved with school newspapers, though 17% (22% among those who had a high school paper) claim to have been involved with their school paper at some point in time during high school.

READERSHIP OF SCHOOL NEWSPAPERS AMONG THOSE WHO RECALL SCHOOL HAVING A NEWSPAPER
(Base: Attended respective schools)
Elementary schoolMiddle school/junior high schoolHigh schoolCollege
Recall School having a newspaper17%46%78%84%
Frequency of Reading School Newspaper 1/ *
Regularly26%38%47%42%
Occasionally30%31%26%27%
Hardly Ever21%19%15%18%
Never23%12%12%13%
1/ Recall school having newspaper.
* Based on those answering.


RATING OF SCHOOL NEWSPAPERS
(Base: Recall School Having a Newspaper)
ABCD
Elementary SchoolMiddle/Junior HighHigh SchoolCollege
Rating of Respective School Newspaper
Excellent/Good (Net)57%C54%60%71%
Excellent12%9%16%20%
Good45%45%44%51%
Fair36%40%35%24%
Poor7%8%5%5%


PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT WITH SCHOOL NEWSPAPERS
(Base: Total)
ABCD
Elementary SchoolMiddle/Junior HighHigh SchoolCollege
Recall a school newspaper17%46%78%84%
Did you work on your school newspaper?*
Yes17%15%22%8%
No/not sure83%85%78%92%
* Recall having a school newspaper.


Current Newspaper Readership and Delivery Patterns

Overall, seven out of ten young adults say that they read the weekday paper in the last week (69%) or their Sunday paper in the last month (68%).

  • 44% read their weekday paper yesterday
  • 48% read a weekday paper regularly
  • 46% read a Sunday paper regularly

Impact of Newspaper Exposure as a Student on Current Newspaper Readership

When we examine the relationship between newspaper exposure as a student and current newspaper readership patterns, we find that there is a very strong relationship. Individuals with a high level of newspaper exposure as students are much more likely to be current regular readers of a newspaper, for example:

  • 62% of those with high exposure read a weekday newspaper regularly vs. only 38% of those with no exposure when they were students.
NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AMONG THOSE WITH HIGH, MEDIUM AND LOW EXPOSURE TO NEWSPAPERS AS A STUDENT
(Base: Total)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHigh (4+)Medium (1-3)Low (0)
Weekday Readership
Yesterday44%52%BC43%38%
Regular48%62%BC47%C38%
Sunday Readership
Last Sunday52%61%BC51%46%
Regular46%51%C47%C39%


Controlling for Other Factors

The question that arises is this: is this strong relationship between student exposure to newspapers and adult readership caused by the childhood programs or was it caused by some other family background factor such as parents´ income or education or household newspaper readership?

In order to address this issue, we explored the relationship between weekday newspaper readership and the Newspaper Involvement Index while controlling for other factors. For example, we control for family´s income by examining the current readership among only those who say their family´s wealth was average. We find that among those with uniformly average wealth, the relationship between the Newspaper Involvement Index and adult readership remains highly significant. Therefore we can say that student newspaper programs appear to have an impact even when we control for parents´ income. The same is true for father´s education, mother´s education, parents´ newspaper readership and household´s discussion of newspaper content.

NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AND NEWSPAPER-TYPE EXPOSURE: OVERALL AND CONTROLLING FOR VARIOUS BACKGROUND FACTORS
(Base: Total)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHigh (4+)Medium (1-3)Low (0)
Yesterday44%52%BC43%38%
Regular48%62%BC47%C38%
Father is a High School Graduate or Less
Yesterday44%52%BC43%40%
Regular46%62%BC44%37%
Father - Some College or More
Yesterday46%56%BC44%40%
Regular52%67%BC53%C41%
Mother is a High School Graduate or Less
Yesterday45%54%BC45%39%
Regular48%66%BC48%C37%
Mother - Some College or More
Yesterday42%52%BC39%39%
Regular48%59%BC46%40%
Parents Read and Discussed the Newspaper a few times a Week
Yesterday51%54%50%48%
Regular57%66%BC58%C46%
Parents Read Newspaper almost Everyday
Yesterday57%64%C56%53%
Regular61%72%BC59%54%
Family´s Wealth was Average
Yesterday42%48%C41%39%
Regular46%60%BC44%38%


Impact of Newspaper Involvement at Various Educational Levels

If we examine the impact of newspaper involvement in elementary, middle and high school separately, we find that high involvement is associated with higher adult readership for every level of school. However the impact appears to be slightly greater at the middle and high school levels.

CURRENT NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AMONG THOSE WITH HIGH, MEDIUM AND LOW EXPOSURE TO NEWSPAPERS DURING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
(Base: Total)
Elementary School Index*
[A][B][C]
TotalHigh (2)Medium (1)Low (0)
Weekday Readership
Yesterday44%46%49%C41%
Regular48%56%C50%45%
Sunday Readership
Last Sunday52%60%BC52%50%
Regular46%52%C48%44%
*Same items as overall Newspaper Involvement Index


NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AMONG THOSE WITH HIGH, MEDIUM AND LOW EXPOSURE TO NEWSPAPERS DURING MIDDLE SCHOOL
(Base: Total)
Middle School Index*
[A][B][C]
TotalHigh (2)Medium (1)Low (0)
Weekday Readership
Yesterday44%51%C45%40%
Regular48%61%BC48%C42%
Sunday Readership
Last Sunday52%60%C55%C47%
Regular46%50%C47%43%
*Same items as overall Newspaper Involvement Index


NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AMONG THOSE WITH HIGH, MEDIUM AND LOW EXPOSURE TO NEWSPAPERS DURING HIGH SCHOOL
(Base: Total)
High School Index*
[A][B][C]
TotalHigh (2)Medium (1)Low (0)
Weekday Readership
Yesterday44%50%C46%C38%
Regular48%61%C50%C37%
Sunday Readership
Last Sunday52%60%C55%C45%
Regular46%53%C50%C38%
*Same items as overall Newspaper Involvement Index


Impact of Exposure does not Decline with Age

The impact of exposure to newspaper involvement programs appears equally strong among 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds - suggesting that the impact does not decline over time.

NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AMONG THOSE WITH HIGH, MEDIUM AND LOW NEWSPAPER EXPOSURE AMONG 18-24 YEAR OLDS
(Base: Total)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHigh (4+)Medium (1-3)Low (0)
Weekday Readership
Yesterday41%50%BC38%35%
Regular48%62%BC44%36%
Sunday Readership
Regular42%42%44%36%


NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AMONG THOSE WITH HIGH, MEDIUM AND LOW NEWSPAPER EXPOSURE AMONG 25-34 YEAR OLDS
(Base: Total)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHigh (4+)Medium (1-3)Low (0)
Weekday Readership
Yesterday45%54%BC46%39%
Regular47%62%BC49%C38%
Sunday Readership
Regular48%62%BC50%C40%


Exploring Other Potential "Impacts"
of Newspaper Involvement Programs

In addition to newspaper readership, newspaper involvement programs could be hypothesized to impact:

  • Preference for newspapers over other media as a source of news and information
  • News and feature interests
  • Voting/civic involvement

Each of these areas was explored.

Preference for Newspapers as a News and Information Source
Greater Among Those Exposed to Newspaper Involvement Programs

Newspapers are seen as the #1 source of local advertising and entertainment. Television has an edge as the source of local sports and a large lead as young people´s overall preferred source of news and information.Interestingly, those with a high level of newspaper exposure as students are somewhat more likely to cite newspapers as their preferred source for all types of news and information.

PREFERRED SOURCE OF LOCAL ADVERTISING
(Base: Total Answering)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Newspaper50%54%C52%C44%
Television27%24%26%30%A
Radio13%11%13%14%
Internet6%8%B5%6%
Magazines2%3%2%3%
Other2% < 0.5%2%A3%A


PREFERRED SOURCE OF ENTERTAINMENT LISTINGS
(Base: Total)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Newspaper49%53%C51%C44%
Daily newspaper26%29%C27%23%
Sunday newspaper9%9%9%8%
Weekly newspapers14%15%15%13%
The Internet20%17%21%21%
Television13%14%B10%16%B
Radio13%11%13%14%
Magazines1%2%1%1%
Other4%3%4%4%


PREFERRED SOURCE OF LOCAL SPORTS
(Base: Total Answering)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Television47%46%45%50%B
Newspaper37%41%38%38%
Radio7%7%7%8%
Internet7%5%8%A7%
Magazines1%1%1%1%
Other1% < 0.5%1%1%


PREFERRED SOURCE OF NEWS & INFORMATION
(Base: Those Answering)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Television44%42%42%47%B
Internet21%19%21%23%
Newspaper20%26%C22%C14%
Radio12%10%12%12%
Magazines2%2%2%3%
Other1%1%1%1%


Current Events, News and Feature Interests

Individuals with high exposure to newspapers as students are more likely to be interested in politics and sports as young adults including:

  • The situation in Iraq
  • Professional sports
  • Local government
NEWS AND FEATURE INTERESTS
(Base: Total Answering)
Extremely/Very InterestedInterestedNot Too InterestedNot at all Interested
The situation in Iraq49%35%10%6%
The Presidential election39%30%17%14%
Professional sports33%23%21%23
Politics23%32%25%20
Local government18%33%31%18


INTERESTS
(Base: Total)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
The situation in Iraq49%51%C53%C44%
The Presidential election39%40%41%36%
Professional sports33%35%C37%C26%
Politics23%26%23%21%
Local government18%24%C18%14%


Voting

Overall, individuals with greater newspaper exposure as students were not more likely to report almost always voting. This is true both for primary and general elections. However, when one controls for age by looking at 18-24 year olds, and 25-34 year olds separately, there is a positive relationship. Those with more exposure to newspapers in school are more likely to vote, though the relationship is not statistically significant.

FREQUENCY OF VOTING IN ELECTIONS
(Base: Total Answering)
Newspaper Involvement Index
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Almost Always/Regularly
General elections55%51%57%54%
Primary elections45%46%44%45%


FREQUENCY OF VOTING IN ELECTIONS BY AGE
(Base: Total Answering)
Newspaper Involvement Index (Age 18-24)
[A][B][C]
TotalHighMediumLow
Almost Always/Regularly
General elections43%44%44%38%
Primary elections36%40%35%32%
Newspaper Involvement Index (Age 25-34)
Almost Always/Regularly
General elections62%63%65%58%
Primary elections50%54%52%46%


Adult Behavior Associated with Readership of School Newspapers

The availability and readership of school newspapers is associated with:

  • Greater interest in politics
  • Higher newspaper readership as an adult

However, since readership of newspapers involves a self-selection process, this association may not be caused by exposure to school newspapers.

SCHOOL NEWSPAPER RECALL AND INTEREST IN POLITICS
(Base: Total)
Recall School Newspaper In:
[A][B][C][D]
TotalElementary SchoolMiddle/Junior HighHigh SchoolCollege
Extremely/Very Interested:
The situation in Iraq49%41%50%A50%A52%A
The Presidential election39%34%39%A40%A44%AB
Politics23%19%22%24%AB27%AB
Local government18%21%19%19%20%


SCHOOL NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AND INTEREST IN POLITICS
(Base: Total)
Read School Newspaper Regularly/Occasionally In:
[A][B][C][D]
TotalElementary SchoolMiddle/Junior HighHigh SchoolCollege
Extremely/Very Interested:
The situation in Iraq49%43%50%A54%AB53%A
The Presidential election39%39%42%43%48%ABC
Politics23%23%24%26%30%ABC
Local government18%27%23%23%23%


SCHOOL NEWSPAPER RECALL AND VOTING IN ELECTIONS
(Base: Total)
Recall School Newspaper In:
[A][B][C][D]
TotalElementary SchoolMiddle/Junior HighHigh SchoolCollege
Almost always/regularly:
General Elections58%48%52%55%AB65%ABC
Primary Elections49%40%44%45%A53%ABC


SCHOOL NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AND VOTING IN ELECTIONS
(Base: Total)
Read School Newspaper Regularly/Occasionally In:
TotalElementary SchoolMiddle/Junior HighHigh SchoolCollege
Almost always/regularly:
General Elections58%58%56%58%70%AB
Primary Elections49%49%48%48%56%BC


NEWSPAPER READERSHIP AMONG THOSE WHO RECALL SCHOOL HAVING A NEWSPAPER
(Base: Recall school having a newspaper)
Read School Newspaper Regularly/Occasionally in:
[A][B][C][D]
TotalElementary SchoolMiddle/Junior HighHigh SchoolCollege
Weekday Readership:
Yesterday44%50%50%48%52%C
Regularly48%60%55%54%58%C
Sunday Readership:
Last Sunday52%49%56%57%A60%A
Regularly46%52%53%51%53%

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