The North Wind board of directors has compiled the results to its readership survey.
Questions covered various topics, including editorial content, social media tendencies, advertising viability and distribution sites.
The survey was sent to a random sample of students, faculty and staff using the Qualtrics Survey Software provided by NMU. One hundred sixty-seven students and 57 non-students took the survey.
“We were pleased with the number of survey responses,” North Wind editor in chief Delaney Lovett said. “It’s really good for us to see what readers notice and think about us, because we don’t get outside feedback often.”
Survey results indicate that 59 percent of students use the NMU website as their first stop for campus news; 33 percent prefer The North Wind.
Ninety-one percent of responses find the stories contained in the student newspaper to be at least somewhat interesting. Ninety-two percent of survey-takers found The North Wind to be somewhat or very reliable.
Campus events, entertainment and reviews were the favorite topics of readers. The news section was the most well-read section by those who took the survey.
“The results indicated there is room for improvement in the look of the paper and coverage of some specific topics, which those students returning to the staff in the fall are looking into,” North Wind faculty adviser Kristy Basolo said.
Only 35 percent of survey-takers have been to The North Wind’s award-winning website, only 12 percent follow the newspaper’s Facebook page, and five percent follow The North Wind on Twitter.
“Social media was a priority for us this year,” Lovett said. “We have some involved followers, but it is definitely something that will need more attention in upcoming years.”
In addition to technological advances, survey results were mixed on advertising and subscriptions. Basolo said those are areas that will need further examination to target what things can be done to improve.
“We did get some good feedback on distribution,” Basolo said. “Apparently the business staff has found the right places to deliver the papers, as we had glowing reviews in that category.”
Sixty-seven people took time to provide written feedback, both positive and negative, which was especially helpful, Basolo said.
“We thank all of those students and staff who took the time to give us honest feedback,” Basolo said. “Working at The North Wind is a learning experience for these student journalists, and getting reaction to their work is a valuable tool.”
Complete results will be published on The North Wind website next week.