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Nearly 100 Respond to Berkeleyan Survey

by Sunny Merik, Public Affairs
posted October 14, 1998

By Sept. 30, the Berkeleyan had received 98 survey responses: 54 from staff, five from faculty, five from administrators and 34 from a mix of alumni, parents, retirees, students and others who read the newspaper online.

Although Berkeleyan continues to receive (and welcome) survey responses, the $25 gift certificate for Cody's Books has been awarded to Alon Kama, a recent graduate.

For those of us who write and design Berkeleyan -- trying every week to bring our readers informative, interesting and sometimes inspiring articles about people and events on campus -- it was most rewarding to hear from you, learn how we're meeting your needs, and where we can improve.

We were pleased to see that 72 percent of respondents read Berkeleyan every week. Twenty-two percent read it cover to cover, 45 percent read several articles, and 26 percent glance at it.

Sixty-five percent prefer the paper to the online format.

It is challenging to create a weekly newspaper that gives a broad view of what's happening among faculty and staff, is a useful resource on campus events, and reports regularly on administrative issues.

Your comments will help us determine what is most useful, and what we may want to change in our current format. For example, respondents said that general and administrative news were their favorite topics. People profiles ranked a close third, followed by research stories.

By contrast, the job listings ranked last. Sixty-two percent of you said you seldom or never read the jobs section.

In addition to the survey's statistics, your personal comments will prove helpful as we plan future issues. For example, several respondents said they'd like to see a little more sports coverage. Several requested more coverage of staff and staff concerns. Although we attempt to cover faculty and staff equally, we will be searching for good staff profile material.

And of course we received many contradictory responses. For example:

• "I love that there are no advertisements or other junk! It's a GREAT paper!"

• Berkeleyan needs "a classified section where staff could list houses to rent, cars for sale or computers, or clubs they want to start."

• "I especially enjoy the Berkeleyan's new look. And the human interest stories keep us ever aware that some really great people work here from every level of the workforce."

• "I really hate the new design and the expansion of coverage is overkill."

The Berkeleyan staff -- your colleagues -- thank you for your response. We will continue to take your comments into account as we develop Berkeleyan into a faculty/staff newspaper that promotes greater understanding of the university, recognizes exceptional service or achievement among faculty and staff, and fosters pride in Cal and a sense of community among faculty and staff.


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