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Results of Our 2015 Reader Survey

The results of our recent reader survey are in — thanks to the more than 2,200 who responded — and we wanted to share them with you.

The findings are largely consistent with prior surveys (the most recent of which was conducted in October 2013), but here are some interesting differences and highlights:

  • You seem to continue to like what we do, which we greatly appreciate. Fully 89 percent say the length of stories is “just right” (compared with 90 percent in 2013), with 7 percent considering them too long (it had been 5 percent) and 4 percent too short. Eighty-two percent say the frequency of stories is “just right” (up from 78 percent), while 16 percent wish we published more (down from 20 percent) and just 2 percent less.
  • Most-often valued types of content are our investigative reports (94 percent), with explanatory articles next (57 percent).
  • Primary sources of national news held steady, with online at 67 percent, print newspapers at 14 percent, and radio and television at 9 percent each.
  • The gender split among ProPublica readers is narrowing, with men now comprising 57 percent and women 43 percent, vs. 60 percent male in 2013. This continues a trend —readership was 64 percent male in 2008 and 62 percent male in 2011.
  • You are, generally, very highly educated (81 percent have at least a college degree, nearly half a graduate degree), fairly prosperous, with a median annual household income of more than $75,000 (and this includes a large number of readers who are either students or retired), and with a median age in the mid–50s.
  • New questions on readers’ race and ethnicity show a group that is 88 percent white, 5 percent Latino, 3 percent black and 3 percent Asian. About 14 percent of respondents live outside the U.S.
  • The industries in which most readers work continue to be education (10 percent), health care (8 percent) and news (8 percent).
  • We continue to track your political leanings, and your sense of ours. We were pleased that 45 percent consider ProPublica non-ideological (as we do); 30 percent see us as liberal, 24 percent as moderate, 2 percent as conservative. Your own political leanings are liberal 62 percent, moderate 21 percent, non-ideological 12 percent and conservative 5 percent. (All these numbers held roughly steady since 2013.) The latest Gallup poll, in 2014, found Americans as a whole split 38 percent conservative, 34 percent moderate, 24 percent liberal.

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