This survey was conducted by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute (API) and The Associated PressNORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey was conducted from November 9 through December 13, 2017. The survey was funded by API. Staff from API, NORC at the University of Chicago, and AP collaborated on all aspects of the study.

To conduct this survey, the Media Insight Project partnered with 12 different newspaper publishers with 90 newspapers across the country. The publishers who participated in the study are: A.H. Belo Corporation (Dallas Morning News), BH Media Group (Omaha World-Herald), The Buffalo News, Lee Enterprises, The McClatchy Company, Star Tribune Media Company (Minneapolis Star Tribune), The Seattle Times Company, Skagit Publishing, Cowles Publishing Company (The Spokesman-Review), Teton Media Works (Jackson Hole News&Guide), Tronc (Tribune Publishing Company), and The Virginian-Pilot.

Each publisher provided contact information for all people who began subscribing to their papers during the prior three months, from August 1 through October 31, 2017. All recent subscribers with a valid email address received an email invitation to complete the survey online, and 4,113 completed the survey. Surveys were conducted online in English. We used the email addresses only for the purpose of this study, and we made sure to protect the confidentiality of all potential respondents.

The final set of completed interviews from this convenience sample includes adults age 18 and older from 47 states and the District of Columbia. The sample frame provided by publishers included about 200,000 email addresses. About 10 percent were deemed invalid, and the overall response rate for the survey was about 2 percent. The results presented in the study are descriptive of the responding subscribers to the participating newspapers and cannot be generalized to the full population of recent subscribers in the United States.

Respondents were not offered any incentive for completing the survey, and data were not weighted. 

Details about the Media Insight Project can be found at: The full topline report can be found here. For more information, please email

Contributing researchers

From the American Press Institute

Tom Rosenstiel
Jeff Sonderman
Kevin Loker
Gwen Vargo
Laurie Beth Harris

From NORC at the University of Chicago

Jennifer Benz
David Sterrett
Dan Malato
Trevor Tompson
Liz Kantor

From The Associated Press

Emily Swanson

About the Media Insight Project

The Media Insight Project is a collaboration of the American Press Institute (API) and The APNORC Center for Public Affairs Research with the objective of conducting highquality, innovative research meant to inform the news industry and the public about various important issues facing journalism and the news business. The Media Insight Project brings together the expertise of both organizations and their respective partners, and involves collaborations among key staff at API, NORC at the University of Chicago, and The Associated Press.

About the American Press Institute

The American Press Institute (API) conducts research and training, convenes thought leaders, and creates tools to help chart a path ahead for journalism in the 21st century. API is an educational nonadvocacy 501(c)3 nonprofit organization affiliated with the Newspaper Association of America. It aims to help the news media—especially local publishers and newspaper media—advance in the digital age.

About the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research 

The APNORC Center for Public Affairs Research taps into the power of social science research and the highestquality journalism to bring key information to people across the nation and throughout the world.

The Associated Press (AP) is the world’s essential news organization, bringing fast, unbiased news to all media platforms and formats.

NORC at the University of Chicago is one of the oldest and most respected, independent research institutions in the world.

The two organizations have established The APNORC Center for Public Affairs Research to conduct, analyze, and distribute social science research in the public interest on newsworthy topics, and to use the power of journalism to tell the stories that research reveals.

The founding principles of The APNORC Center include a mandate to preserve carefully and protect the scientific integrity and objectivity of NORC and the journalistic independence of AP. All work conducted by the Center conforms to the highest levels of scientific integrity to prevent any real or perceived bias in the research. All of the work of the Center is subject to review by its advisory committee to help ensure it meets these standards. The Center will publicize the results of all studies and make all datasets and study documentation available to scholars and the public.

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