The Lincoln Institute Of Public Opinion Research, Inc.,
PENNSYLVANIA NEWSPAPER EDITORS SURVEY
Spring '01
 

Section 1: About yourself

How long have you served in your current position?

43% More than 10 years
28% 6 –10 years
24% 1-5 years
5% less than a year

What level of education have you achieved?

60% Bachelor’s Degree
15% Graduate Degree
15% High School
10% Associates Degree 

How old are you?

41% 41 – 50
34% Over 50
20% 31 – 40
5% Under 30

What is your gender?

57% Male
43% Female

What is your voter registration?

39% Democrat
34% Republican
27% Other

Which Presidential candidate did you vote for?

51% George Bush
34% Al Gore
15% Other


Section 2: About your newspaper

How often is your newspaper published?

56% Weekly
22% Daily except Sunday*
20% Daily/7 days
2% Other
 

What is the range of your circulation?

36% Less than 10,000
33% 10,000 – 20,000
28% 25,000 – 100,000
3% 100,000 – 500,000
 

How would you describe your coverage area?

36% Rural
33% Suburban
26% Mixed
5% Urban

In what part of the state do you publish?

44% East
37% Central
19% West

Is your newspaper part of a publicly held corporation or under independent ownership?

76% Privately owned
24% Publicly held corporation

Does your newspaper offer editorial content on the World Wide Web?

72% Yes
28% No

If your newspaper offers editorial content on the World Wide Web, is the full content of every edition or partial content of every edition placed on your web site?

88% Partial
12% Full
 

If your newspaper offers editorial content on the World Wide Web do you agree with your newspaper’s strategy in utilizing the World Wide Web?

34% Strongly agree
24% Somewhat disagree
20% Somewhat agree
12% No opinion/no answer
10% Strongly disagree

Comparing 1999 and 2000 did your newspaper’s circulation increase, decline or stay about the same?

44% Increased
22% Decreased
34% Stayed about the same

Comparing fiscal years 1999 and 2000 did the newspaper’s budget for editorial coverage of your primary circulation area increase, decrease or stay about the same?

46% Increased
46% Stayed about the same
8% Decreased

Comparing 1999 and 2000 did your newspaper’s overall advertising revenue increase, decrease or stay about the same?

51% Increased
29% Stayed about the same
20% Decreased

How would you rate your newspaper’s coverage of Pennsylvania’s government?

56% Adequate
24% Good
11% Don’t know**
7% Poor
2% Excellent


Section 3: About the issues
 

In your primary circulation area what you choose as the number one issue facing the area?

36% Land use
24% Public education
12% Workforce development
10% Infrastructure
7% Tax Reform
5% Crime
4% Other
2% Health care
 

In your opinion what should be the highest priority for Pennsylvania’s budget?

46% Public education
20% Tax reform
15% Infrastructure
7% Land use
5% Crime
5% Workforce development
2% Other

Would you favor or oppose updating Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law?

79% Strongly favor
15% Somewhat favor
5% No opinion
1% Somewhat oppose

Would you favor or oppose updating Pennsylvania’s Right to Know law?

57% Strongly favor
32% Somewhat favor
8% No opinion
2% Somewhat oppose
1% Strong oppose

If you favor updating the Pennsylvania Right to Know law, how do you view Governor Ridge’s recent proposal for updating the law?

36% Adequate
26% Poor
20% Good
16% No opinion
2% Excellent

How would you rate the job performance of the following –

Pennsylvania House Of Representatives:
58% Fair
22% Poor
19% Good
1% No opinion

The Pennsylvania Senate:
5
4% Fair
26% Good
20% Poor

How would you rate the current condition of Pennsylvania’s business climate?

52% Fair
29% Good
17% Poor
2% Good

Would you favor or oppose changing the way Pennsylvania finances public education?

39% Somewhat favor
38% Strongly favor
16% Somewhat oppose
7% No opinion

Would you favor or oppose Pennsylvania raising the income tax in exchange for lowering property taxes in the state?

27% Somewhat favor
25% Strongly favor
18% No opinion
17% Somewhat oppose
13% Strongly oppose

Would you favor or oppose a school voucher program in Pennsylvania?

49% Strongly oppose
15% Somewhat oppose
17% Somewhat favor
12% Strongly favor
7% No opinion

Governor Ridge has recently proposed the merit selection of judges.  Do you favor or oppose merit selection of judges?

26% Strongly favor
25% Somewhat favor
24% Strongly oppose
15% Somewhat oppose
10% No opinion

In your experience as an editor which of the following utilities offers the best cost/value ratio for customers in your coverage area?

51% Water service
18% Telephone service
15% Electric service
14% Cable TV
2% Gas service

Do you agree or disagree that Verizon should be permitted by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to enter the long distance business in the state?

43% Somewhat agree
30% No opinion
11% Strongly agree
9% Somewhat disagree
7% Strongly disagree

Governor Ridge recently proposed spending $100 million for historic preservation in Pennsylvania over the next 5 years.  Do you favor or oppose this proposal?

44% Somewhat favor
22% Strongly favor
20% No opinion
11% Strongly oppose
3% Somewhat oppose

How would you rate the job performance of the following?

Tom Ridge
37% Good
32% Fair
14% Excellent
10% Poor
7% No opinion

Mike Fisher
27% Good
56% Fair
5% Excellent
7% Poor
5% No opinion

Barbara Hafer
44% Good
41% Fair
2% Excellent
10% Poor
3% No opinion

Robert P. Casey, Jr.,
41% Good
41% Fair
10% Excellent
6% No opinion
2% Poor

Rick Santorum
44% Fair
26% Poor
17% Good
10% Excellent
3% No opinion

Arlen Specter
34% Fair
29% Poor
25% Good
9% Excellent
3% No opinion


The Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research  2001 survey of Pennsylvania’s Newspaper editors was mailed on February 28, 2001.  A total of 723 news editors garnered from lists supplied by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and Burrel’s August 2000 Media Directory of Pennsylvania were sampled.  Newspaper editor was defined as editor/publisher, executive editor, managing editor, editor and/or editorial page editor.  Eighty-nine surveys were returned by deadline.  Complete numeric results can be obtained on line at www.lincolninstitute.org

*Several comments were received noting 6-day publication with varying days

** In this category many editors noted that as weekly community based publications covering Harrisburg was not part of their core mission.