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How should YourArlington change?

You have responded to our survey; we are listening

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What do YourArlington's readers want?

As the 17 1/2-year-old site investigates changing how it looks and operates, its nonprofit board, led by a consultant, wanted to know.

So from Feb. 6 through March 1, we asked via this web site and Arlington social media. Here is a summary of your opinions.

Be assured: As we shape a new YourArlington, those involved are listening to suggestions from 105 of you. Our ability to carry out your hopes depends on your donations, which you are invited to do here >> 

Below is a brief summary of the survey. See the full results plus graphics here >> 
Demographic, behavior takeaways:

● More than 60 percent of respondents make more than $100,000 per year;
● 58 percent of respondents are women;
● About half live in the 02474 ZIP Code, which is more economically and racially diverse; 45 percent live in the 02476, which is predominantly white and more affluent;
● More than 75 percent of participants visit the website once a week;
● Participants get their information from YourArlington (62 percent), the A-List (35 percent) and from word-of-mouth sources (32 percent); note that the consultant included the A-List Facebook group and the Arlington Email List (listserv) separately in the survey, butI didn't know that some of the public refers to the Facebook group as the A-List. She writes: "It's possible respondents confused the two."

More coverage, please

Participants say they want more in-depth reporting in general, and more coverage of events, schools and local politics in particular. They also want to read features, stories about local businesses, culture and government.

Many readers said they wished YourArlington would raise more money to fully replace The Arlington Advocate, which merged with The Winchester Star in May 2022 and lacks a reporter to report news in both towns.

● Nearly 49 percent said they want YourArlington to expand coverage;
● Another 12 percent want YourArlington to raise more money; and
● About 10 percent want to see improvements to the website.

Suggestion to cover topics

About 20 percent of respondents want more in-depth reporting:

--“I’d like to know more about the people who make our town government work. It would be great if local media could facilitate helping citizens know these people – for example the Town Meeting members of different precincts. Who are they? Why do they want to be Town Meeting members? Are they doing their job well or not?”

--“Focus on investigative journalism. Local news has become either an politicized opinion page or crime blotter. There is no attempt to investigate local issues. Another problem is lack of series profile of an issue for instance housing or healthcare or transportation.”

Survey says: Raise more money!

Nearly 12 percent of respondents recognize reporting takes resources.

● “Hit me up for money a bit more aggressively (I have intended to give for some time but conveniently forget)”;
● Raise lots of money and get bigger and better. Get more resources to cover the town in depth and sophistication.
Which areas of YourArlington coverage do you follow? 

Notes: The .pdf showing full results has two web addresses that cannot be clicked. You may click the following: The U.S. Postal Service statistics and demographics for 02474 are here >>

USPS data for 02476 residents are here >>

Appeal to a broader audience

As the YourArlington board engages in strategic planning, it will be critical to consider ways to appeal to residents in East Arlington and those to the west, including the Heights. Readers have offered a few suggestions:

● Report on what is happening inside schools;
● Publish sports statistics, photos and stories;
● Publish information about births, deaths, high school grads, college grads;
● Help connect the community by publishing features about interesting people;
● Give readers opportunities for feedback through tip lines, report an error forms and comments; and
● Offer more in-depth and investigative reporting.

Dec. 30, 2023: Top 'hits' in '23 point to site's resilience


These survey results were published Tuesday, May 21, 2024, based on information from a YourArlington public survey guided by Anne Galloway, founder of VTDigger, a prize-winning online nonprofit, and a partner with the consultancy NewzOps.

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