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Racial Differences in Newspaper Readership

Sharon, Amiel T.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Adults, African Americans, Caucasians, Racial Differences, Reading Habits, Response Analysis Corporation, Surveys


Data for this study were gathered as part of a national survey of reading activities of adults. The study was conducted by the Response Analysis Corporation of Princeton, N.J. A national probability sample of 5,067 adults age 16 or older, were interviewed in their homes and asked about all the printed matter they had read or looked at the previous day--this sample representing 69 percent of the total number of adults who were interviewed. Four subsamples were also examined: Black, White, low-income Black, and low income White adults. In the general population, the proportion of White readers is greater than that of Black readers in every type of reading material. There is a larger racial difference in newspaper reading than in any other form of reading, this difference exists between all Blacks and Whites as well as between Blacks and Whites who are poor. The results of the study indicate that newspapers are not reaching a very large proportion of Blacks, especially poor Blacks. Even among those Blacks who do read newspapers, certain sections such as editorials, women's and society pages, and regular advertisements are read considerably less frequently than by Whites. It is speculated that newspapers do not respond to Blacks' needs and concerns to the extent that is done by other printed media such as books and magazines. (Author) (14pp.)

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