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Results of Our 2010 Reader Survey

ProPublica readers like our longer stories, are generally happy with what we’re doing, and are a demographic dream, our most recent survey found.

iStockPhotoWe recently asked ProPublica's readers to complete a survey about themselves and our content. Thanks to the nearly 3,400 who told us about you -- and about us.

We learned that you're involved, and, by and large, pretty happy with us. Though this wasn't a scientific survey, we found that the average respondent visits ProPublica 12 times a month. You like our mix of short-form and long-form content: 89 percent consider the length of our stories "just right." Of the remainder, more than twice as many readers think the stories are "too short" rather than "too long."

You also seem to like the number of stories we do: 81 percent see our quantity as "just right," while most of the rest wish we'd post items more frequently. Our longer features are the most popular element of our content (three-quarters of you read them regularly), with 60 percent looking regularly at our shorter stories and blog posts and our links to investigations by others.

Not surprisingly, you're a Web-centric group, with 60 percent saying the Web is their primary source of national news. That's slightly higher than the 57 percent in our first survey, 18 months earlier, who named the Web as their primary source. Newspapers, not surprisingly, have declined about the same amount as your primary news source, from 21 percent at the end of 2008 to 18.5 percent today.

Your financial and related demographics are what advertisers would call "attractive." More than 82 percent of you have graduated from college. Median household income is above $75,000 (or about 50 percent higher than the national median), with one-third of you making six figures annually. Nearly a third has a household net worth above $500,000. One out of 10 of our readers is a fellow journalist; one out of 15 works in government. Our median reader is just over 55 years old.

As is common on the Web, but no less a concern, more than 62 percent of our readers are men. But the female proportion of our audience has grown by a couple of points since 2008.

More than half of our readers -- 56 percent -- consider themselves liberals; 22 percent call themselves moderates and 8 percent say they are conservatives. But we're especially pleased that most of you think of ProPublica (as we do) as "nonideological." Most of the rest see us as "moderate."

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