By Ben Olson
Last month, for the third consecutive year, we reached out to media consumers in the region to inquire about their media habits.
This annual survey helps us keep tabs on what media you, our dear readers, are consuming on a regular basis. It also helps us show advertisers in the region how to get the most bang for their advertising buck.
A total of 1,033 people responded to this year’s survey, which is a great result. While we don’t claim this survey as a 100-percent scientific result, we made an effort to promote it widely via Facebook and various websites and editorial spaces, as well as in person through random street surveys.
We asked participants about their print, radio, television and social media habits.
For print, the Reader placed first with almost 65 percent of respondents claiming they read it regularly (woo hoo!). Here’s a breakdown of the field. Of the 1,025 people who responded to the question, this many said they read the said publication regularly:
Reader – 64.78%
Sandpoint Magazine – 61.78%
Bonner County Daily Bee – 48.27%
Co-Op Roundup – 36.78%
Pacific Northwest Inlander – 31.90%
Living Local Magazine – 25.46%
The Spokesman-Review – 20.88%
Neighbors (Daily Bee) – 9.37%
Out There Monthly – 5.56%
SHS Cedar Post – 4.49%
Wise Guide – 4.2%
Northern Journeys – 2.83%
River Valley Beacon – .78%
In the radio category, KPND 95.3 FM took top billing, with 32.68 percent of the 1,025 that responded listening regularly. Here’s the whole breakdown:
KPND 95.3 – 32.68%
KRFY 88.5 – 22.24%
KPBX Spokane Pub. Radio – 21.27%
K102 Country – 18.73%
KPND 106.7 – 15.61%
ROCK 103 – 14.05%
KSPT 1400 AM – 8.49%
KBFI 1450 AM – 1.27%
For local television, only 3.02 percent of those who responded said they watched Northland/CC Channel 5 regularly.
For the web, SandpointOnline.com placed at the head of the pack with more than 51 percent of those who responded logging in regularly. Here’s the full breakdown:
SandpointOnline.com – 51.32%
BonnerCountyDailyBee.com – 38.73%
SandpointReader.com – 27.12%
Sandpoint.com – 20.10%
SandpointLivingLocal.com – 7.32%
Survey results also showed that most people prefer to get their news in print, followed closely by websites and social media. More than two-thirds of survey takers also claimed they rarely or never use the phone book anymore.
Now that you have this information, how will you intend to use it?
Advertising is not an exact science, but it makes the most sense to put your ads where people will have the most likelihood of seeing them. All things considered, would you rather advertise in a publication that reaches two thirds of the reading public, or one that only reaches one-quarter?
The comments we received also help us determine the pulse of the community regarding local media. While some are too colorful to publish, comments help suggest story ideas, as well as advice for how to be better. Here are a few:
“I would read the local newspaper if it weren’t so incredibly biased in its reporting.”
“The mental health problem in Bonner County is bad and needs to be addressed, also we need drug & alcohol treatment centers/inpatient.”
“Medicare funding, environmental issues.”
“I feel the liberal side of the story is covered in Sandpoint. Where is the counterpoint?”
“I would read the Reader more often if it were a little more balanced and inclusive of a variety of opinions.”
“Daily Bee has multiple grammatical errors and spelling mistakes – makes us look like country bumpkins.”
“I would like to see more political candidate evaluations for both local and state positions on the ballot. I like the Reader’s coverage, but need more.”
“Kudos in Bonner Bee – very behind on submission to delivery.”
“The Reader covers issues the Daily Bee should have all along, but never did. Good to have both now, but being 15 miles out of town, I wish we could get a paid Reader delivery option.”
**(you can – call us!)
“From the small towns I’ve lived in, (Sandpoint) appears to do a far better job than most of providing up to date local coverage of news and events through a wide variety of media.”
“Daily Bee would be a logical choice for daily news but they seem more interested in selling ads than reporting and investigating news. The Reader gives us much more depth, but only come out once a week.”
“I would like news presented in such a way that I can’t tell the political leanings of the author.”
“We need to be given more advance info on ALL topics the city council is discussing and voting on. Much is decided behind closed doors that affect us.”
“I’d like to see the Reader do more news reports rather than columns written by community members. The Inlander is an excellent model.”
“The local media doesn’t have a heartbeat. When I think of the Daily Bee I think of an old-looking website and a paper with typos. … I like the radio because there is a voice behind the words. There’s nothing living about Living Local.”