Survey: College media continue despite pandemic

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‘State of College Media’ survey results.

Special to College Media Review

Ninety-four percent of college media outlets continued production during the COVID-19 pandemic amid campus shutdowns and restructuring operations to work virtually, according to the results of CMA’s 2020 benchmarking survey.

The fourth annual “State of College Media” survey provides a snapshot of what college media operations face and also identifies industry trends. Approximately 135 CMA members nationwide completed the survey, which was distributed electronically on June 4, 2020.

The survey was sent to all 635 CMA members. This yielded a 44% open rate and a 34% click through rate. A follow-up reminder on June 16 had a 41% open rate and a 20% click through rate. Results were released on June 26, 2020. With a total of 135 members participating, the overall response rate is 21%.

Production continued during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic despite advertising taking a big hit and continued worries about future funding. More than a quarter of advisers said advertising revenue dropped more than 20% over the last academic year. Additionally, many respondents noted concerns that funding would worsen as schools wrestle with reopening in the fall.

“It has decimated virtually all of the revenue we were supposed to receive and had been counting on from advertisers, and we are told that our funding next year from the university will also decline significantly,” one adviser wrote.

Nearly 58% of respondents said they reduced the number of printed newspaper copies during the last academic year and 42% said they permanently reduced print frequency.

But, 42% of advisers said their staffs are adopting new delivery models, such as podcasts and e-newsletters, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

VIEW the entire survey and results.

View past surveys HERE.