Readership survey endorses local, Oban newspaper

SIXTY per cent of respondents to a survey conducted by the weekly newspaper, The Oban Times, said they visit restaurants and attend events after seeing them promoted within the pages of the newspaper.

The survey – which attracted 1,369 respondents – also found that almost half read the paper twice over.

Says The Oban Times: “Findings were substantially positive and revealed a loyal and passionate readership. Almost 90 per cent stated they read The Oban Times every week. Readers buy the broadsheet weekly because they enjoy its content and like to know what is happening in the local area. 47 per cent read their Oban Times twice over or more.

“Over half saw an increase in the quality of photographs in the past few years while a large percentage also thought the newspaper’s design, layout and look had improved. A stream of positive comments thanked and congratulated the newspaper for its contribution to the West Highlands.”

It continued: “The response to advertisements was also positive – 82 per cent agreed that adverts in The Oban Times are useful for sourcing local products and services. As well as looking at the paper’s classified section for bargains every week, 60 per cent of readers visit events and restaurants after seeing them advertised within its pages.

“While focussed local news content was well received, readers wanted more lifestyle and hobby features. Readers in rural and island areas expressed desire for more hyper-local content, a view echoed by respondents in Oban. All suggestions are currently being reviewed by the editor.”

Stewart Mackenzie, editorial director for The Oban Times, is quoted, as saying: “As 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of The Oban Times, it seemed an appropriate time to look to the future and find out what our readers want from their newspaper. Taking all the feedback on board, readers can expect to see further improvements and we will continue to work hard at meeting the demands of our expansive readership.”