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National NOW Times >> Fall, 2001 >> Article

NOW Times Winter 2001 Survey Results

In the Winter 2001 issue of the National NOW Times (NNT), we devoted our survey to finding out what members and other readers think of NOW's newspaper. The NNT is produced, first and foremost, as a member newspaper—the main source of information on NOW, its issues and actions. Here's what you had to say:

1. What do you read first? Do you usually read the NNT from front to back, or do you skip around depending on the subject of the articles? Do you eventually read the entire issue?

Most of you read most or all of the NNT and usually skip around to read what is most interesting to you.

2. What draws your attention most to an article - photographs? The headline? The issue being covered? The highlighted quotes?

More than half of those that responded said that they are drawn to the article by the issue being covered; the headline attracted the next largest numbers.

3. What are your favorite features? What topics would you like to see covered?

The features that were favored by readers varied widely. The top three issues cited were: Reproductive Rights, Legislative and NOW updates, and Women’s Health/Body Image. Topics for what should be included also varied widely but most of you mentioned a desire to share more information from like-minded activists.

“I would like to see more of what local chapters do to get work done, how they decide who to work with, what issues are the main focus, how to be pro-active rather than reactive, etc.” - Susan Straus (Chicago, IL)

“Voting records, demonstrations - need time and location, want more information on corporations inimical to women, and more emphasis by NOW on boycotting them. The power of the purse will bring them to their knees.” - Margaret Sullivan (Walnut Creek, CA)

4. What kind of articles are you unlikely to read?

Most readers stated that there was no particular issue that they would not read.

“Ones about sewing.” - Joseph Marquez (La Miranda, CA)

5. What’s missing from the NNT that you’d like to see?

There were over 40 suggestions submitted! Eight respondents wanted a page on chapter/state activities, and other high vote getters were a question and answer column, a calendar of events so that activists would know ahead of time about events in their area, and entertainment notices about artists, musicians, writers, etc.

“Specific activities that can be done, books to be read, rallies or meetings to go to.” - Mary Gardner (San Diego, CA)

“There are many of us warriors out here in the ‘hinter’ and who need a monthly quip to insert in our daily contacts - words are our best weapon.” - Cindy Judd Hill (Pittsburg, PA)

6. Do you prefer short articles that give an overview on an issue or focus on current events, or longer articles that provide more in-depth background?

Approximately 40 percent of those that responded stated that they preferred the shorter articles, 20 percent requested longer articles, and 20 percent liked the mix that is presently available. The last 20 percent said that their preferred length depended on the complexity of the topic being covered.

7. Do you like the newspaper format or would you prefer to see a more magazine-like format?

56 percent of the responses we received preferred the newspaper format. Those who considered a magazine format suggested that the cost be the deciding factor and many requested that the publication be recyclable no matter the format.

8. How long do you keep an issue of the NNT? Do you ever pass it on to a friend?

Most of you keep the NNT long enough to read it and until the next issue comes out. About 15% say they save every issue! Also most of you spread the feminist message by passing your issue on when you have finished.

“[I keep it] till it’s finished - then I pass it on to one of my five daughters who then pass it on.” - Marsha Wock (St. Louis Park, MN)

“I usually leave it in a doctor’s office waiting room to pass on to strangers.” - Reader (Parrish, FL)

9. Do you look at the advertisements? Do you read the classified ads? Are you more inclined to buy a product advertised in the NNT than in mainstream publications?

60 percent those of you who responded said that you read both the advertisements and the classifieds and 59 percent of respondents stated that they were more inclined to buy a product from the NNT versus those advertised in mainstream media.

10. Have you started reading the NNT online? If so, do you still find advantages to receiving the paper copy?

Most of you do not yet read the NNT online (even those who filled out the survey online). Even if you prefer to read a paper copy of the NNT, some noted that there are some great benefits to reading online including the ability to read previous issues of the paper and the ability to search the archives for topics that most interest you. People said that they liked having the paper copy so that they could quote bits out of it and photocopy articles.

“I use the online versions for historical purposes/research. Getting the paper copy is advantageous, there are times it is easier to read hardcopy than multiple screens, etc. I do think that we need to do a web specific E-zine on a weekly/monthly basis and develop it as a web publication only. More personal articles from the officers, more real-time information/chats with officers and leading feminist activists.” - Patricia Varieur (Columbus, OH)

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