SAIPAN – The Northern Mariana Humanities Council has released the results of its survey of local media covering the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
“In the months leading up to the 2020 CNMI midterm elections and amid restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Northern Marianas Humanities Council has launched a survey to examine media literacy, use and media perceptions; and civic attitudes among CNMI residents. I am pleased to announce the completion of this in-depth research study – the first of its kind for the CNMI – with the publication of our report i Minagåhet – Ellet: Reporting Truth in the Northern Mariana Islands,” said the director. executive Leo Pangelinan.
This study, he added, provides insight into opinions, perspectives and attitudes within the CNMI community regarding the reliability of local and social media news sources, the journalistic functions of the media, news media skepticism, online privacy, political interest and participation, and more.
“The overarching goal of this work is to promote awareness of the functions of the media in our democracy,” he said.
This document is a report on the results of the 2020 survey, which was administered online, and included people living in Saipan, Rota and Tinian, aged 18 and over.
A total of 481 respondents completed the survey.
This report is intended to provide immediate feedback to the CNMI community and does not constitute a definitive and comprehensive analysis of the survey results.
It provides summaries of descriptive statistics, such as means and standard deviations, for the items measured in the survey, as well as a brief analysis of correlations between key variables. Details of the survey method are also included in this report.
Respondents said they frequently use Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube as local news sources.
About 84% of respondents indicated that they would like local media to carry more regional news.
Sixty to 70 percent of respondents thought local media and journalists should cover government and government meetings, crime and law enforcement, and what happens at CNMI schools.
Only 25% of respondents believed that “the news media is fair”.
Over 90% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the Internet can pose privacy risks.
On average, respondents also tend to agree that internet companies and the government should take action or create regulations that would help prevent the spread of false or inaccurate information, and that consumers should learn to recognize misinformation.
Nearly 58% of respondents say they never comment on other people’s social media posts about politicians, political candidates or current elections.
The survey results indicate that education level and household income were positively associated with actual and self-perceived knowledge of news media.
Being more educated and having a higher family income was related to being less dissatisfied with local politics.
The Humanities Council recognized the leadership and support of Francis Dalisay, project researcher and associate professor of journalism at the University of Guam, for his role in developing a 90-point community survey and analysis of results to anchor this work.
The Board also expressed its sincere gratitude to the members of the Project Advisory Group: Kevin Bautista, Florence Calvo, Elsiana Cruz, Maria Dizon, Anita Hofschneider, Thomas Manglona II, Catherine Perry, Arden Sablan and Jessica Taylor for lending their expertise, time and effort. many facets of this project.
This project was funded by the Federation of State Humanities Councils through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
See the full survey results at https://www.nmhcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/Minagahet-Ellet-Media-Report.pdf.