Since Alhambra Source launched in September 2010, our readership has grown to more than 10,000 visitors a month. We wanted to know who is reading the Source, how they found the website, and what they think of it.
Ninety participants took our survey online or filled in the questionnaire at the "Know Your Source" party in February.
Readers reported coming from a mix of ethnic backgrounds which were similar to Alhambra's demographics: 39% Latino, 25% Chinese/Taiwanese, 20% non-Hispanic white, and 16% "other" (many of which identified as Vietnamese or mixed race). More than half of the respondents were between the ages of 25 and 44.
Although readers appear to be on the younger end of the spectrum, they also appear to have deep ties to the community. More than half of the survey participants had lived in Alhambra for over 15 years.
There did not seem to be a single way in which readers discovered the Alhambra Source. The most important way of learning about the site was through friends and family members (23% of respondents). Social media platforms were also a popular route. According to our survey, 18% of readers discovered our site through Facebook, while 6% found it via Twitter. Nine percent said they stumbled into our posts while searching for local information online.
Asked why they read the Alhambra Source, survey participants said that they come to the site to get timely local news and stay on top of the community. Readers were also attracted by the information related to safety, social justice, and entertainment. Several answers mentioned that our writing quality and topic selection were the main reasons why they came back to the site.
Here are some of the responses to our question “Why do you read the Alhambra Source?”:
- “It's the most current, reliable, and engaging place for news in Alhambra”.
- “For the sense of community and finding local things to do”.
- “The quality of journalism provided by the Alhambra Source is excellent. The journalists write though provoking, well-rounded pieces”.
- “It's one of the few sources for news in my immediate neighborhood. I feel like I can be more involved when I read Alhambra Source”.
- “With the large mix of cultures and opportunities for engagement, I look to Alhambra Source to find ways to interact more in my home town. I feel more at home in Alhambra because of the Source. I didn't really realize how much I missed knowing about what is happening in my town until I started reading Alhambra Source”.
- “You offer a variety of information not offered by the Chamber of Commerce's "Around Alhambra" & you accept comments from us, readers (around Alhambra does not) & you have resident interns that research community activities & I think & hope you are not beholden to politicians or Chamber of Commerce people that seem to manage information for their benefit only”.
- “Excellent articles and keeps me informed on events in my beautiful city”.
Knowing our readers helps us to improve our coverage: What brought you to the Source? What keeps you reading? What else would you like to see?
Research Insights: As you may know, the Alhambra Source is a collaborative project initiated by journalists and communication researchers at the USC's Annenberg School. The Alhambra Source staff and the USC Metamorphosis research group regularly post some of the insights gleaned through our work in your community. As we share what we have learned, we hope you will let us know what you think through your comments.