Survey: Community depends on Beacon for local news
Last updated 5/7/2021 at 2:36pm
How do you feel about your city council raising your local taxes 30%? And your school board eliminating half the high schools' intramural sports programs?
What do you have to say about the police department cutting regular neighborhood patrols 75% to focus on digital crimes?
Of course, none of these things are happening. But you have told us loud and clear that you would want to know if they were.
The Beacon surveyed readers in south Snohomish County to better cover your concerns and interests; more than 250 of you let us know your thoughts and opinions through written and online surveys and Zoom focus groups.
During a period of upheaval for the newspaper industry that has seen a steady decline in daily and weekly newspapers, largely due to loss of advertising revenue to social media, companies like The Beacon are striving to continue our mission of providing objective, fair, timely news to the communities we serve.
Results from the survey suggest much of what we do has been on target. But it's helpful to know where you want us to spend our time to best serve your interests.
Survey respondents definitely appreciate having a community newspaper. Asked how valuable The Mill Creek Beacon is to your family, 50% said "extremely" and another 43% said "moderately."
Readers said we're doing a good job, too.
Asked how accurate and unbiased is our news coverage, 71% said "very" or "moderately." Another 14% said they simply didn't know.
Survey respondents generally confirmed that we're focusing on the right topics, too, but the results will help us strengthen those areas that readers are most interested in.
On the topics and interests that respondents most enjoy reading, 71% put local government at the top, followed by Community Calendar (64%), regional arts & entertainment (57%), regional government (50%), local arts & entertainment (43%), feature stories (43%), local schools (43%), senior living (43%), police blotter (36%), and high school sports (29%).
Not surprisingly, survey participants overwhelmingly look to The Beacon for local news. Asked for their main source for community news, 91% said The Mill Creek Beacon. Another 2% cited Facebook, 3% said the social media site Nextdoor, and 30% cited other sources, including The Herald, News of Mill Creek, and the Seattle Times.