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CTA. 2002. The responses. Spore User Survey (Supplement to Spore 100). CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/47673
Most of the 1,314 responses were received by mail. Many were typed, or in computer files. More than half were eloquent hand-written texts with some, in good Spore reader tradition, extending to several pages.More than 400 photos, intricate...
Most of the 1,314 responses were received by mail. Many were typed, or in computer files. More than half were eloquent hand-written texts with some, in good Spore reader tradition, extending to several pages. More than 400 photos, intricate illustrations and sketches, engraved poems and digital diagrams accompanied them it is tempting to publish them all in an album. The fact that email and the World Wide Web were used by 14,6% of respondents merits attention. To those concerned about the Digital Divide, it gives some reassurance that computer-mediated communication, such as the Internet, is growing. Yet many more respondents, 31% to be exact, claim to use email now and 10% expect to use it by the end of 2002. It is, though, not yet part of their daily pattern of communication, at least for responding to Spore surveys. Most actually share the email address of a neighbour, colleague or friend, often on one of the free systems provided by Internet companies. This confirms the observation that Internet penetration in developing countries should not be measured by the number of email subscriptions since each one actually means perhaps ten other people. Who s talking? The language used by respondents reflects, in broad terms, the circulation of the English and French editions of Spore, and the Portuguese Esporo. Just over 54% of responses were in English, 37% in French and 8% in Portuguese. Gender issues The number of women responding to the survey does not fully reflect their place in the ranks of CTA s distribution of Spore, which itself is far from a proper reflection of the place of women in ACP agriculture. This is a priority action area for CTA. In all, 84 women (6.4%) responded, nearly all by mail, whereas women account for 11% of the mailing list. More than half hold positions where they make sure their Spore is put to wide use: in libraries, information centres and education, and leadership positions in some civil society groups. Where are you from? Of the six ACP regions, the most populous, West Africa, provided the most responses: 548, or 42%. Here, Nigeria, followed by Benin and Togo, takes the lion s share. The large population, and widespread distribution, in Nigeria combine in a readership level of almost six people in 10,000, above the average. Another lion s share is taken by Ethiopia, with a readership level of 5.1/10,000, due in part to widespread distribution amongst extension workers and Spore being one of the few English language publications available. Each country can take pride, or note, of the number of responses it returned, each with its special reasons. Some regions, such as the Caribbean, or sub-regions, are relatively well-catered for in agricultural publications. Other countries, such as South Africa or Zimbabwe, have emerging agricultural sectors which have yet to express their demand in full. The full picture of responses by country is shown in the large Table 1. How many are you? We estimate that there are at least 1,089,200 readers of Spore. Well over one million. This does not include the people who read articles taken from Spore and published in another newspaper, magazine or Website, or broadcast on radio or TV. We call those people secondary readers, and we cannot begin to calculate them. Primary readers are the people who touch their Spore (or someone else s), take it from a library shelf, receive a photocopy within their organisation, read it in a village centre, study it in their office, or listen to the words and study the pictures whilst it is read out in the hundreds of readers groups of which so many respondents have written to us. How do we calculate our readership? One survey question was how many people read your Spore? : for example, 149 respondents said that 5 people do, and 137 said that 50 or more do. We took all these replies; we excluded the clear errors and removed the fantastic (17,000; 15,000); we checked for evidence (many readers explained their own sums); and we rounded off. When someone wrote 5 we put 5, and about 10 or more than 10 became 11, because we added 10%. In all, 1,241 respondents answered this question (73 did not). The total number of readers for those 1,241 was 33,786. On average this means 27.23 readers per copy. We multiplied this average by the estimated number of copies of Spore which are read each issue: 40,000. And 40,000 times 27.23 = 1,089,200. And the 40,000 copies? Well, at the time of our analysis, the Spore mailing list had 11,703 institutions and 21,442 individuals. Of these 33,145 copies, most go to subscribers in ACP countries (30,713). Others go to paying subscribers, some complimentary copies go to partner organisations, our correspondents in ACP countries, and the mass media. The delegations of the European Union in ACP countries, who operate their own mailing lists, receive 4,200 copies. To this total of 37,345, we added the 2,750 copies which are distributed at seminars, study visits, fairs and conferences. We then rounded the total down to 40,000. In addition, the World Wide Web editions have a growing readership. In June 2002, the Spore pages were being read by 14,640 visitors each two months (the frequency of Spore). When you study Table 1, remember that what matters most is not the actual total, but how many copies of Spore are available to, amongst others, rural people in a country. All in all, Table 1 has enough data to make a great many calculations. We invite you to send us your ideas on how to expand Spore s outreach.
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