Research survey: what you said about Monday Paper

26 August 2002
IF YOU were one of those Monday Paper readers who completed our research survey in June, give yourself a pat on the back. The results, which have just come in, are an important tool for the Department of Communication and Marketing as they tell us exactly what you think of your staff newspaper and how we should be shaping the publication.

The results show that staff rate Monday Paper as a good product generally. Significantly, in our 2000 survey 23% of respondents described Monday Paper as "propagandist". In the latest survey this figure is 9%, a significant reduction. Also important to note is the fact that 25% of Monday Paper stories focus on research endeavours, underpinning UCT's mission. 80% of UCT's coverage in the media is generated by these stories.

A total of 273 questionnaires was returned from the 5 500 sent out via Monday Paper. For brevity we have summarised some of the most important facets of the research below.

  • Interestingly, 72% of our readers prefer the tabloid format, introduced in 2000 to replace the A4 version (in spite of the tabloid being more difficult to slot into pigeonholes). This indicates quite a turn-around. In our last survey in 2000, 92% of readers said they preferred the A4 format.
  • In response to the question on the quality of the publication, 56% of respondents rated Monday Paper as "good" (2000: 33%) and 30% of respondents rated the newspaper as "excellent" (2000: 38%).
  • When asked to describe the Monday Paper, 48% of respondents chose the word "informative"; 26% described it as "newsy" and 3% called it "dull". 88% of respondents receive the publication regularly.
  • 47% read most or many articles (2000: 44%), 32% read selected articles (2000:27%), 8% read one or two items and 12% browse through it (2000: 20%).
  • Out of 273 responses, the vast majority (85%) indicated that English is their home language (2000: 78%).
  • The research shows that each copy is read by an average of two people, which means that the cost per reader is 86 cents a week. (We produce 38 issues a year.)
  • The majority of our respondents have been with UCT over 11 years.
Generally, the spread of stories in Monday Paper is as follows: Health Sciences 8%; Engineering and the Built Environment 5%; Humanities (which includes the arts page every two weeks) 18%; Science 12%; Law 3%; Commerce 9%; CHED 1%; student/general 9%; staff and support services 14%; sport 11%; art 3%; higher education 1%; executives 3%; letters 3%.

But the biggest headache is the distribution of the paper. 52% of respondents say they receive it on a Tuesday, 27% get it on a Wednesday and only 12% receive it on a Monday. In out last survey we brought this up and asked readers if they would prefer to have the name changed.

The majority (66%) said no, despite circulation bottlenecks. This introduces a vital point. Monday Paper is signed off on a Thursday evening, reproduced and printed on Friday, delivered to our Welgelegen offices first thing on a Monday morning, and is sorted, labelled and dispatched by lunchtime. Unfortunately, the bottlenecks occur afterwards, once Monday Paper is out of our hands. Distribution to dispersed UCT campuses, comprising scores of departments and units, is a slow process. In addition, we rely on the goodwill and efficiency of many administrative staff to get Monday Paper circulated within their departments.

While we can't fully control the distribution on Campus, we can invite readers to access Monday Paper on the web at It's there every Monday, usually by 14h00 (please don't phone us if it's not up on the web by 14h05, we need a little latitude here). We are also working on getting the classifieds ads posted to the web.

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