CPA Print Impact Study by CARA Powerpoint

Catholic Media Use
in the United States
Preferences for and Use of Print and Online Content
Survey Methods
The survey was conducted by the Center for Applied
Research in the Apostolate (CARA) using Knowledge
Networks’ nationally representative panel.
A total of 1,075 self-identified Catholics, age 18 and older
took the survey between May 12 to May 20, 2011.
The sampling margin of error for the survey is ±3.0
percentage points.
Every 1 percentage point of the total sample is equivalent
to 570,000 Catholics. Thus, if 26% of respondents indicate
recently reading a diocesan newspaper or magazine this
results in an estimated 14,820,000 readers.
1 in 4 adult Catholics have read a print diocesan
publication in the last 3 months
-Readership is
unchanged from
CARA’s 2005 media
use survey (25%)
-Online readership of
diocesan newspapers
is much lower. Only 3
percent of adult
Catholics report
reading online in the
last three months.
4 in 10 have ever read a diocesan publication
in print or online
18% of adult Catholics typically read a print
copy at least once a month
8 in 10 readers rate their diocesan
publication as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’
How readers get their diocesan publication:
A majority of weekly attenders read in print
Younger Catholics aren’t more likely to
move online for diocesan content
Only visits to parish websites are up
2 in 3 readers of national Catholic print publications
agree they are ‘very satisfied’ with what they read
There is not a strong preference for online content
Most readers aren’t moving online and say
their print publications are important to them
There are some generational differences:
Time & Money Factors Effecting Use
Open-ended question:
Examples of negative reactions to the openended question:
A big mistake.
Converting to digital sources would lose a human element of reading something in hand
versus on a screen.
Feel they would lose readership as people would overlook them as the internet is very
distracting. The print is expensive but reaches the greatest number of people and unites
us across the Archdiocese.
I believe it would have an adverse effect for our faith.
I don't read newspapers online.
I feel it could be corrupted or infiltrated.
I probably wouldn't read as much.
I think it would somewhat detract from the publications credibility because online content
is so prolific and the source of the content is very difficult to assess with only an online
Terrible! I work on a computer all day. So, when I'm home I only use my home computer
for necessary things.
Examples of positive reactions to the openended question:
Better to get message out less expensive.
Good for saving on overhead.
I could easily make the adjustment if I had to.
I feel like it would be good for the environment and I might read them more.
I guess that is the way the world is going, and it would save on paper and costs.
I think it is a good way to spread the happenings of the church to those who may not
attend or know what is going on.
I would be willing to give it a try online.
I'd prefer it. Going green is what Jesus would do.
Just fine to be able to look up back issues.
Would be okay with this.
Research summary
Readership of diocesan print publications has remained
unchanged in the last six years with about one in four
adult Catholics reading in the last three months.
Among all Catholics, as well as young Catholics, there is
no widespread preference for Catholic, religious, or
spiritual content online.
There is no dominant online website drawing Catholics in.
The only growth is in visits to parish websites (up from
5% in 2005 to 14% in 2011).
Other data (see next slide) indicate a significant drop in
Americans searching for anything “Catholic” online.
Final thoughts
Assumptions about the Internet being the “future” of Catholic
media and “where the young Catholics are” are not matched in data.
Catholics, including young Catholics are online. They just are not
doing religion, faith, or spirituality online yet in great numbers.
Print publications can push content into households and be one of a
few reading options available in the home. However, no one can
force a person’s web browser to visit a specific website in the vast
expanse of the Internet. Online content is not “broadcast” nor is it
“mass media.” Instead it is just there for those who purposefully
seek, visit, and read a webpage (i.e., narrowcasting).
Unlike the secular news media, Catholic publications do not have
significant competition online (and where this does exist locally, few
Catholics are likely to access the content online relative to print
readership). Diocesan publications have a much stronger hold on
their niche of the market than the secular newsmedia.