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TMCNet:  Reporter Finds Affirmation in Poll

[November 16, 2012]

Reporter Finds Affirmation in Poll

Nov 16, 2012 (Albuquerque Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- There I was, working on a story about a new poll APS commissioned from Research and Polling, Inc. The poll is about whether voters are likely to pass two funding questions that will be on the ballot in February. The district will ask for $368 million for capital needs and four school board seats will be up for grabs. Whatever, blah blah blah. See tomorrow's paper.


That's not the good part. The good part is on the last page, where pollsters asked respondents to describe where they get information about APS, using a five-point scale. On this scale, 5 is "a lot of information" and 1 is "no information." More than any other information source, poll respondents cited "the local daily newspapers" as the place where they get the dish on APS. One-quarter of respondents said they got "a lot of information" from the daily paper, and another 26 percent gave the daily paper a 4 on the 5-point scale. The average response about the daily paper was 3.3.

The next-highest contender was "friends, relatives or co-workers," which got a 5 from 24 percent of respondents and a 4 from 16 percent. Local TV news was right behind.

But here's the really great part: only 9 percent of respondents gave a 5 to The Internet, destroyer of newspapers. The mean for the Internet was only 2. Take that, Series of Tubes! (Yes, I understand that local community news isn't the area where the web is eating our lunch. But I actually do think this makes a compelling argument for newspapers to stay very local in our coverage).

Rounding out the table were materials direct from APS and local radio stations, which both had fairly low scores.

I think the word I'm looking for is "woot!" Now, let's not get too excited. The table in question also has this giggle-inducing caveat that senior citizens are more likely than any other group to say they get a lot of information about APS from newspapers (37 percent).

Moreover, the respondents are all people who have voted in one of the past two school elections. And Research & Polling's Matt Hughes reminded the board that the sample isn't representative of the whole Albuquerque community: "These are only likely voters in special election. This is not necessarily the views of the general public. These are people who come out and vote, and you have a lot of people who are generally very supportive of the schools. This is a group of people who, in this poll, they're much more highly educated than the regular voting public, they tend to be older, and they tend to be very supportive of public schools. It's hard to compare the results of this survey with what happens in New Mexico as a whole." Whatever, Matt. Given that most of the news I get about my chosen profession looks like this, I'll take what I can get. Have a good weekend, and seriously, thanks for reading.

-- Email the reporter at hheinz@abqjournal.com. Call the reporter at 505-823-3913 ___ (c)2012 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) Visit the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) at www.abqjournal.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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