Thursday, January 17, 2008

Research Says News Service has Regional Impact

Southwest Region News Service is a weekly news service highlighting University of Missouri Extension in southwest Missouri. Weekly articles are delivered by e-mail and reach every media outlet and journalist in the area.

Council members, and individual members of the public can also receive Southwest Region News Service upon request.

Yearly, readers are surveyed to determine how they are using this service, what impact it has and what information they like to read.

This year’s survey showed the news service did the following for individuals:
* Increased knowledge of extension programs for 92 percent of its readers;
* Provided information causing 73 percent to do something different; and
* Increased awareness of issues in southwest Missouri for 71 percent of readers.

Area journalists also took the survey and:
* 100 percent said the news service was “generally well-written;”
* 100 percent said they had found stories in the news service to be accurate; and
* 94 percent said they had used content from this news service for stories.

Nearly 2,350 members of the public receive this news service. Based on a recent demographic study of this audience this is what we know about the members of the public who read Southwest Region News Service: Missouri residents comprise 91 percent of the readership; Greene County residents account for 48.5 percent of all individual readers.

There were 366 new subscribers to Southwest Region News Service in 2007. Of those new subscribers, 2.2 percent were American Indian, .5 percent were Asian, .5 percent were Hispanic or Latino, 1 percent were African-Americans, 1.7 percent were of unknown origin and 94.5 percent were White. These new subscriber numbers are very similar to the breakdown of the total subscription numbers.

Nearly 11 percent of subscribers said they have a disability. Veterans accounted for 6.4 percent of subscribers. Seventeen percent of the new subscribers were over 65 years old and 92 percent of all new subscribers were from Missouri.

“This news service educates and informs readers of current news and information that is accurate, up-to-date and fills a real need to know in this area,” wrote reader Danette Proctor of Willard.


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