Page 17 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2012

This is a SEO version of Foreign Service Journal - April 2012. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »
A P R I L 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
n behalf of my colleagues at
Foreign Service Journal
and AFSA, I would like to
thank the 796 people who took part in
our recent online reader survey. That
total represents nearly 5 percent of our
current circulation of 17,000 — a very
healthy response that has provided us
with a lot of useful information.
First, a few notes on the demo-
graphics of the survey participants.
Active-duty Foreign Service person-
nel comprised 60 percent of the re-
spondents, while 38 percent are FS
retirees; the remaining 2 percent are
not affiliated with the Foreign Serv-
ice. Most of the respondents are be-
tween 35 and 49 years old (27
percent), 50 and 59 (21 percent) or 60
and 65 (14 percent).
Of the active-duty FS cohort, 20
percent are entry-level, 65 percent
mid-level and 14 percent are in the
Senior Foreign Service. (The rest did
not indicate their grade.) Two-thirds
of them are currently posted abroad.
We asked respondents to rate the
quality of the
Foreign Service Journal
as a whole, with 1 being poor and 10
being the best. Twenty-four percent
selected 7 as the ranking, 30 percent
chose 8, 11 percent said 9 and 4 per-
cent give it a 10. (Only 10 percent as-
signed a rating between 1 and 4.)
When asked howmany of the 11 is-
sues published last year they had read,
43 percent of respondents said they’d
read 10 or 11; an additional 18 percent
said they’d read seven to nine, and an-
other 17 percent had read four to six
issues from the past year. In terms of
how much of a typical issue they read,
38 percent said between 26 and 50
percent, 25 percent said they read 51-
75 percent, and 13 percent read 76-
100 percent of each issue.
We then listed all sections of the
(whether they appear every
month or occasionally) and asked re-
spondents to tell us whether they read
each one always, often, rarely or never.
As in the 2008 reader survey,
remains extremely popular: 36
percent of survey participants always
read it and another 42 percent do so
often, for a total of 78 percent. But
several other sections also rank high:
standalone features (81 percent),
Speaking Out columns (79 percent)
and Letters (78 percent).
Next, we asked a series of questions
related to the online version of the
( N
three-quarters (73 percent) of respon-
dents said they prefer to read the print
edition of the magazine.
Of those who prefer the digital for-
mat, a third (34 percent) regularly look
at the current issue online, while 70
percent consult back issues posted on-
line at least a few times a year. (You
can now read all issues going back to
January 2003, and we are in the
process of adding issues from 2000,
2001 and 2002 to the online archives.)
Most respondents said their overall
experience with the digital version has
been good (55 percent), fair (28 per-
cent) or excellent (7 percent). A quar-
ter of online readers would be in-
terested in having the magazine avail-
able via a mobile device or app, an op-
tion we are investigating.
Five questions invited respondents
to offer written comments and sugges-
tions, an invitation that several hun-
dred of you took us up on. We are
truly gratified by the degree of interest
in the magazine the additional input
demonstrates, and are in the process of
going through those comments with a
view to implementing those ideas that
are feasible.
In that spirit, we always welcome
your thoughts and submissions. Please
contact us at an
d we
will be delighted to respond.
Thanks to all who
took part in our
reader survey,
especially those who
offered thoughtful
comments on our
content and format.