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PUBLICAFFAIRSNEWS&INFORMATION SOURCES

2005 Washington Leadership Study


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Overview

An independent study on the use of major daily newspapers, Capitol Hill publications, the Internet, and television news as sources for news and information about public policy

Conducted blind so that respondents did not know the study sponsor

Based on interviews with 455 federal government leaders in both the Legislative and Executive Branches

QSA Research is a full-service research and consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia serving business, government and non-profit organizations.


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Study Participants

Executive Branch

  • Includes:

  • Senior Officials Above highest ranking civil service

    • - Presidential and Schedule C appointees

    • - Senior Executive Service

    • - Military: Highest ranking uniformed officer in office

  • Respondents include:

    • - Cabinet secretaries and deputies

    • - Directors, commissioners, chiefs of staff

Executive Office of the President

Executive Office of the President

Executive Branch (254 Interviews)

Leadership at Executive Departments and Agencies

Does NOT include:

Junior staff members, Administrative personnel, interns etc...

Executive Support Staff

Administrative Support Staff


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United States Congress

Legislative Branch (201 Interviews)

Leadership at Legislative Offices and Committees

Legislative Support Staff

Administrative Support Staff

Study Participants

Legislative Branch

  • Includes:

  • Types of respondents

    • - Congressional staff

    • - Key aides speaking for Members of Congress

    • - Committee Staff Directors

  • Top aides/staff

    • - Press Secretaries

    • - Chiefs of Staff

    • - Legislative Directors/Assistants

Does NOT include:

Junior Staff Members

Administrative Personnel

Interns etc...


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Measurement Objectives

Most important media information source

Readership of print media

Major daily newspapers

Limited-circulation Capitol Hill publications

Other publications read professionally

Use of the Internet

Viewing of TV news

Responses to paid public policy messages


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PUBLIC AFFAIRS

NEWS &INFORMATION SOURCES

Media Sources

Which is your single most important source of public affairs news and information?


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Q. Which is your single most important source of public affairs news and information?

Most Important News Source

  • 48% named newspapers their single most important source for public affairs news and information

  • That is 2 1/2 times as many as named the Internet

  • It is nearly 4 times as many as named Hill publications and 6 times as many as named television

Among All Washington Leaders

Newspapers

The Internet

Hill Publications

Television

E-mail Newsletters

Radio

Other Publications


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Executive Branch

Legislative Branch

Q. Which is your single most important source of public affairs news and information?

Most Important News Source

  • Newspapers dominate in both the Executive and Legislative Branches (48%)

  • One quarter of Legislative Branch leadersbut just 4% of Executive Branch leaders consider Hill publications as their single most important source of public affairs news and information

By Branch of Government

Newspapers

The Internet

Hill Publications

Television

E-mail Newsletters

Radio

Other Publications


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PUBLIC AFFAIRS

NEWS &INFORMATION SOURCES

Newspapers

What daily newspapers do you read regularly (3 out of 4 issues) when you are in Washington?


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Q. What daily newspapers do you read regularly when you are in Washington?*

Regular Newspaper Readership*

Among All Washington Leaders

  • Almost 9 out of 10 leaders read at least three out of four issues of the Washington Post

  • About one-third read the New York Times and one fifth read the Wall Street Journal on a regular basis

The Washington Post

New York Times

Wall Street Journal

Washington Times

USA Today

Express

The Examiner

*Note/ Regular readership is defined as reading at least three out of four issues


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Executive Branch

Legislative Branch

Q. What daily newspapers do you read regularly when you are in Washington?*

Regular Newspaper Readership*

By Branch of Government

  • The Washington Post is the only major newspaper that reaches almost nine in ten leaders in both branches of government

  • It is the only newspaper to reach at least half of Legislative Branch leaders and at least one fourth of Executive Branch leaders

The Washington Post

New York Times

Wall Street Journal

Washington Times

USA Today

*Note/ Regular readership is defined as reading at least three out of four issues


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Q. What daily newspapers do you read regularly when you are in Washington?*

Regular Readership of The Washington Post*

Among All Washington Leaders who read The Washington Post: By Issue Involvement

  • The Washington Post is a primary source for news and information for leaders in all areas of government policy

Financial Services

Communications

Foreign Affairs

Environment

Defense

Energy

Health Care

*Note/ Regular readership is defined as reading at least three out of four issues


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Q. What daily newspapers do you read regularly when you are in Washington?*

Exclusive and Multi-Paper Readership

Among All Washington Leaders

  • 38% of Washington leaders read the Washington Post exclusively

  • More than half (56%) of all Washington leaders read more than one daily newspaper

Exclusive Regular Readership of The Washington Post

Multi-Newspaper Readership

None (1%)

Exclusive Regular Readership of other Daily Newspapers

*Note/ Regular readership is defined as reading at least three out of four issues


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Q. When you are in Washington and have time to read just one newspaper, which one do you read?

"Busy Day" Exclusive Readership*

Among All Washington Leaders who read more than one newspaper on a regular basis (56%)

  • When the 56% of all Washington leaders who read more than one daily newspaper on a regular basis were asked which newspaper they read when they have time to read just one, 67% (representing 38% of all leaders) named the Washington Post

Washington Post - 67%

New York Times 9%

Other 11%

Wall Street Journal 6%

USA Today 1%

Washington Times 6%

*Note/ Busy Day Exclusive readers are defined as readers who turn to one particular newspaper when they only have time to read one.


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Q. When you are in Washington and have time to read just one newspaper, which one do you read?

Exclusive and "Busy Day" Exclusive Readership Combined

Among All Washington Leaders

Busy Day Combined

Busy Day Exclusive

Exclusive

Washington Post 38% 38%76%

New York Times 1% 5%6%

Wall Street Journal 2% 3%5%

Washington Times 2% 3%5%

USA Today0%1%1%

  • Factoring in 38% exclusive regular readers and the 38% busy day exclusive Post readers, 76% of all leaders are exclusively reading The Washington Post on a busy day


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Q. What daily newspapers do you read regularly when you are in Washington?*

Percentage of Regular Readers* of Other Major Newspapers Who Also Read the Post

Among All Washington Leaders

New York Times (32%)

  • The Washington Post reaches the vast majority of readers of other major daily newspapers

  • In fact, all but 4% of New York Times readers are also regular readers of The Washington Post

USA Today (8%)

Wall Street Journal (20%)

Washington Times (17%)

*Note/ Percent who read each newspaper regularly.


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Executive Branch

Legislative Branch

Q. When you are in Washington on a Sunday, which Sunday newspaper do you read?

Regular Sunday Newspaper Readership*

By Branch of Government

  • More than 4 out of 5 Executive Branch leaders read the Sunday Washington Post when they are in Washington on a Sunday

  • 68% of Legislative Branch leaders are regular readers of the Sunday Washington Post

The Washington Post

New York Times

Washington Times

The Examiner

*Note/ Regular readership is defined as reading at least three out of four issues


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PUBLIC AFFAIRS

NEWS &INFORMATION SOURCES

Magazines etc.

What magazines or Capitol Hill publications do you read regularly* when you are in Washington?

*Note/ Regular readership is defined as reading at least three out of four issues


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Q. What Capitol Hill publications do you read regularly when you are in Washington?*

  • Roll Call (48%) and the Hill (42%) lead all Capitol Hill Publications, but neither reaches as many as half of all Washington leaders

Regular Readership of Hill Publications*

Among All Washington Leaders

The Washington Post

Roll Call

The Hill

Congress Daily

Congressional Quarterly

National Journal

CQ Monitor

*Note/ Regular readership is defined as reading at least three out of four issues

Limited Circulation (25,000 - 50,000)


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Executive Branch

Legislative Branch

Q. What Capitol Hill publications do you read regularly when you are in Washington?*

Regular Readership of Hill Publications*

  • The two leading Capitol Hill PublicationsRoll Call and The Hilldo an effective job of reaching Legislative Branch leaders, but reach very few Executive Branch leaders

By Branch of Government

The Washington Post

Roll Call

The Hill

Congress Daily

Congressional Quarterly

National Journal

CQ Monitor

*Note/ Regular readership is defined as reading at least three out of four issues


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Q. What other professional publications if any do you read that are relevant to your work?

Other Publications Read Professionally*

Among All Washington Leaders

The Washington Post

  • Readership of non-newspaper publications by Washington leaders is highly fragmented, with even the top publication reaching only 12% of all leaders

Federal Times

Government Executive

Newsweek

Time

Defense News

Early Bird

U.S. News and World Report

Navy Times

Jane's Defense Review

Economist

*By 5% or more


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Q. What other professional publications if any do you read that are relevant to your work?

Other Publications Read Professionally*

By Branch of Government: Legislative

The Washington Post

  • No publicationsother than top newspapers and Capitol Hill publicationsare read by more than 21% of all leaders

Newsweek

Time

Weekly Standard

U.S. News and World Report

National Review

Atlantic Monthly

Economist

New Republic

*By 5% or more


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Q. What other professional publications if any do you read that are relevant to your work?

Other Publications Read Professionally*

By Branch of Government: Executive

The Washington Post

  • Executive Branch leaders are focused on government sources

  • Federal Times (18%) and Government Executive (17%) are the most popular publications among this group

Federal Times

Government Executive

Defense News

Early Bird

Navy Times

Janes Defense Review

Armed Forces Magazine

Defense Week

*By 6% or more


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P you read that are relevant to your work?UBLIC AFFAIRS

NEWS &INFORMATION SOURCES

The Internet

Do you use the Internet as a source of news and information about public policy?


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Q. What Website do you use you read that are relevant to your work?regularly as a source for news and information about public policy?

Websites Used for News and Policy Information*

All Washington Leaders Who Use the Internet (86%)

washingtonpost.com

  • 86% of all Washington leaders regularly use the Internet as a source for news and information about public policy

  • washingtonpost.com is the leading Internet site for news and information about public policy

cnn.com

newyorktimes.com

MSNBC.com

nationaljournal.com

Google.com

CQ.com

Drudge Report

wallstreetjournal.com

Yahoo.com

Foxnews.com

Early Bird

*By 5% or more


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Q. What Website do you use you read that are relevant to your work?regularly as a source for news and information about public policy?

Websites Used By Legislative Branch Leaders for News and Policy Information*

Legislative Leaders Who Use the Internet (91%)

washingtonpost.com

newyorktimes.com

  • 91% of all Legislative leaders regularly use the Internet as a source for news and information about public policy

  • More than half regularly use washingtonpost.com, which leads the closest runner-up by 19 percentage points

cnn.com

nationaljournal.com

CQ.com

Drudge Report

wallstreetjournal.com

MSNBC.com

Google

*By 8% or more


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Q. Do you use the Internet as a source of news and information about public policy?

Websites Used By Executive Branch Leaders for News and Policy Information*

Executive Branch Leaders Who Use the Internet (82%)

cnn.com

  • 82% of all Executive leaders regularly use the Internet as a source for news and information about public policy

  • CNN.com (29%) leads washingtonpost.com (24%) by 5 percentage points

washingtonpost.com

MSNBC.com

newyorktimes.com

Google

Earlybird.com

Yahoo.com

Foxnews.com

Govexec.com

*By 7% or more


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P information about public policy?UBLIC AFFAIRS

NEWS &INFORMATION SOURCES

Television

Viewing of the evening news on national networks, local stations and morning news shows


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Q. On what national cable or broadcast networks do you information about public policy?regularly watch evening news programs when you are in Washington?*

Regular Viewing of the Evening News on National Cable or Broadcast Networks*

Among All Washington Leaders

Does Not View

CNN

  • 36% of all Washington leaders are not regular viewers of the evening news on any broadcast or cable network

  • Three in 10 leaders view news on CNN and almost one-quarter view news on Fox News at sometime during the evening

  • Among the regularly scheduled news programs, NBC is the most popular

Fox News

NBC

ABC

PBS

CBS

BBC

MSNBC

C-Span

*Note/ Regular viewership is defined as viewing at least three out of four shows


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Executive Branch information about public policy?

Legislative Branch

Q. On what national cable or broadcast networks do you regularly watch evening news programs when you are in Washington?*

By Branch of Government

Regular Viewing of the Evening News on National Cable or Broadcast Networks

Does Not View

CNN

  • Fewer Legislative than Executive Branch leaders view regularly scheduled news programs on NBC, ABC, CBS and PBS

Fox News

NBC

ABC

PBS

CBS

BBC

MSNBC

C-Span

*Note/ Regular viewership is defined as viewing at least three out of four shows


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Q. On what broadcast networks do you information about public policy?regularly watch local evening news programs when you are in Washington?*

Regular Viewing of the Evening News on Local Stations

  • 3 out of 5 Washington leaders are not regular viewers of local evening broadcast news programming

Among All Washington Leaders

Does Not View

WRC: Channel 4 (NBC)

WJLA: Channel 7 (ABC)

WTTG: Channel 5 (FOX)

WUSA: Channel 9 (CBS)

News Channel 8

*Note/ Regular viewership is defined as viewing at least three out of four shows


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Executive Branch information about public policy?

Legislative Branch

Q. On what broadcast networks do you regularly watch local evening news programs when you are in Washington?*

Regular Viewing of the Evening News on Local Stations

By Branch of Government

  • Three quarters of Legislative leaders are not regular viewers of local evening broadcast news programming

Does Not View

WRC: Channel 4 (NBC)

WJLA: Channel 7 (ABC)

WTTG: Channel 5 (FOX)

WUSA: Channel 9 (CBS)

News Channel 8

*Note/ Regular viewership is defined as viewing at least three out of four shows


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Q. On what national cable or broadcast networks do you information about public policy?regularly watch TV morning news programs when you are in Washington?*

Regular Viewing of TV Morning Shows

Among All Washington Leaders

  • Two thirds of all Washington leaders are not regular viewers of cable or broadcast television morning shows

Does Not View

Today Show (NBC)

Fox Weekday (FOX)

CNN

Good Morning America (ABC)

C-Span

MSNBC

Early Show (CBS)

*Note/ Regular viewership is defined as viewing at least three out of four shows


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Executive Branch information about public policy?

Legislative Branch

Q. On what national cable or broadcast networks do you regularly watch TV morning news programs when you are in Washington?*

Regular Viewing of TV Morning Shows

By Branch of Government

Does Not View

  • Regular viewership of TV morning shows is significantly more in the Legislative Branch (44%) than in the Executive Branch (27%)

Today Show (NBC)

Fox Weekday (FOX)

CNN

Good Morning America (ABC)

C-Span

MSNBC

Early Show (CBS)

*By 2% or more


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Q. Have you taken any action during the past year or so in response to a paid public policy message in the print or online version of a newspaper?

Responses to Paid Public Policy Messages

Among All Washington Leaders

Took Any of These Actions

Discussed issue with colleagues

  • 70% of leaders say they have taken action in response to a paid public policy message in the print or online version of a newspaper

Looked for more information

Looked at a website in the ad

Sent a copy to someone

Used to support own position

Wrote a letter, memo or e-mail

Clipped or saved the message

Used in decision-making process

Made the issue a higher priority

Called a meeting to discuss

Called a phone number in the ad


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P response to a paid public policy message in the print or online version of a newspaper?UBLIC AFFAIRS

NEWS &INFORMATION SOURCES

Conclusions


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Conclusions response to a paid public policy message in the print or online version of a newspaper?

Newspapers remain by far the most important news source

Nearly half said newspapers are their single most important news source

More than twice as many as any other medium

88% read The Washington Post regularly

Nearly three times as many as read any other major daily newspaper

The Post is the only newspaper to reach more than 22% of the Executive Branch


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Conclusions response to a paid public policy message in the print or online version of a newspaper?

The Internet is the second most important news source

Used by more than 8 in 10 leaders

Nearly one in five say it is their single most important news source

Overall, washingtonpost.com leads all other news sites by a wide margin

In the Legislative Branch, it is ahead of the top second tier site by a margin of nearly 20 percentage points.

In the Executive Branch, CNN.com leads washingtonpost.com, which is number two, but CNN leads by just 5 percentage points.


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Conclusions response to a paid public policy message in the print or online version of a newspaper?

Capitol Hill publications are the third most important news source

13% say they are their single most important news source

But Hill publications do not reach the Executive Branch

Roll Call and The Hill are the top Hill publications, but regular readership of both lags behind The Post


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Conclusions response to a paid public policy message in the print or online version of a newspaper?

Readership of other publications is highly fragmented.

Legislative leaders read more general interest publications

Executive Branch leaders read more specialized publications

None (except Newsweek at 21%) are read by more than one in five of either Legislative or Executive Branch leaders


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Conclusions response to a paid public policy message in the print or online version of a newspaper?

Television news shows have limited audiences

66% do not watch TV morning shows

61% do not watch the local evening news

36% do not watch the evening news on cable or broadcast networks

30% watch CNN at some time during the evening

23% watch FOX News at some time during the evening

23% watch the evening news on NBC


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Conclusions response to a paid public policy message in the print or online version of a newspaper?

Paid public policy messages in newspapers (print or online) help set the agenda for the decision-making process

Seven in ten took action as a result of seeing a public policy message:

Nearly two-thirds discussed issue with colleagues

Nearly half looked for more information

More than four in ten looked at a listed website

More than one-third sent a copy to someone

Nearly three in ten supported their position

Nearly one-quarter used in the decision-making

One-quarter clipped or saved the message


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