Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

2nd Good News Reader Survey Results

August 3, 2010

Second Good News reader survey provides additional positive feedback

After printing and mailing the May-June and July-August issues of The Good News, we prepared online readers’ surveys and sent an e-mail to GN readers asking them to participate. We reported on results from the first survey here on June 7, and results of the second survey, which closed July 31 with 263 responses, were very similar. Again results showed a very positive attitude toward the magazine, as is somewhat to be expected since the survey was voluntary.

Following is a summary of the survey feedback:

  • 84% said they were satisfied with The Good News magazine; 16% were fairly satisfied; none said they were not very satisfied or not satisfied at all. Very similar percentages found it helpful or not helpful.
  • 61% rated the July-August issue excellent; 23% rated it above average; 16% rated it good and only 1% rated it below average or disappointing.
  • 78% of respondents had read the cover article on how to cope in a world of rapid change. Even for the least-read article, 53% of respondents said they had read it. The most popular article, read by 82 percent of respondents, was “The Decline and Fall of Nations: A Prophetic Perspective.”
  • 49% said they read each issue cover to cover; 36% said they read most articles; 14% said they read some articles and only 1% said they skim the magazine or don’t read it.
  • 81% of respondents had requested or downloaded one or more booklets and 82% had visited the Good News Web site in the last six months.
  • 76% took the time to write personal comments, which were overwhelmingly positive and appreciative.
  • Respondents were 57% male and 43% female.
  • Age breakdown of respondents was 1% under 20; 5% 21-30; 9% 31-40; 25% 41-50; 26% 51-60; 23% 61-70; 11% 71-80 and 1% over 80.
  • 26% had subscribed less than one year; 26% had subscribed for 1 to 2 years; 15% had subscribed for 2 to 3 years; 32% had subscribed for more than 3 years and 2% read it online only.

The types of articles responders said they were “very interested” in were ranked as follows:

  1. Bible prophecy — 92%
  2. Bible history/background — 87%
  3. Bible doctrine — 86%
  4. Christian living —  81%
  5. World news analysis — 75%
  6. Practical help/guidance —  61%
  7. Family issues —  58%
  8. Social issues analysis — 54%
  9. Marriage —  49%
  10. Parenting/child-rearing — 35%
  11. Youth/teenagers — 31%

For this survey we added a question asking readers to check their religious affiliation. Here is the ranked response to that question:

  1. Christian, unaffiliated — 19%
  2. Christian, other — 14%
  3. Church of God — 14%
  4. Pentecostal — 10%
  5. Baptist — 9%
  6. Catholic — 7%
  7. Anglican — 4%
  8. Methodist — 3%
  9. Church of Christ — 3%
  10. Seventh-Day Adventist — 3%
  11. Presbyterian — 2%
  12. Lutheran — 2%
  13. Jehovah’s Witness — 2%

Those with 1 percent or less response were Apostolic, Congregationalist, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopalian, Jewish, Mormon, Messianic Jewish, Muslim, Salvation Army and Unitarian. No Hindus or Buddhists responded. Curiously, 4% selected “Other religious affiliation not listed,” and we’re not sure what to make of that.

Overall conclusions based on this feedback:

  • The readers who responded to this survey are quite pleased with the magazine and find it valuable and helpful.
  • The large amount of the content they say they read indicates that we are giving them material they want to read and find interesting.
  • Our overall emphasis of explaining world events in light of Bible prophecy and discussing Bible doctrine and teachings is meeting these readers’ wants and interests.
  • The readers who responded to this survey utilize both print and Web-based efforts rather than one or the other, so we need to use both kinds of media to reach people.

Scott Ashley—Managing editor, The Good News

August 3, 2010 - Posted by | Good News Magazine, Home Office, Media and Communications, Uncategorized |


  1. Are Good News magazines going out to subscribers in Latin America?

    Comment by Roxanna Yost | August 3, 2010 | Reply

    • The English-language edition goes out all over the world from a number of offices, including the home office, to all regions, including English readers in Latin America. Other than providing the raw materials of the edited articles, photos, illustrations and layouts to our international-edition translators and editors, I don’t get involved in the German, Spanish, French, Italian and other versions, so I don’t know the answer to your question when it comes to other languages.

      Comment by Scott Ashley | August 3, 2010 | Reply

  2. What is the per issue circulation figures for the Good News Worldwide?

    Comment by Samuthiran | August 3, 2010 | Reply

    • The print run for this particular issue was 362,000. That’s for the English-language version, which is printed in the United States, Australia and South Africa and mailed and shipped to other countries from those locations. We also print in several other languages, but I’m not sure of the current print runs for those editions.

      Comment by Scott Ashley | August 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Samuthiran,

      You can view the February 2010 issue of United News at and see the Good News magazine circulation figures by language and by country on page 7.

      Comment by United Church of God | August 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. Do the following relatively low percentages indicate an older readership?

    10. Parenting/child-rearing — 35%
    11. Youth/teenagers — 31%

    Comment by Alexander Thomson | August 3, 2010 | Reply

    • There was an age breakdown in the post (I’m including it below in this response so you don’t have to search for it):

      Age breakdown of respondents was 1% under 20; 5% 21-30; 9% 31-40; 25% 41-50; 26% 51-60; 23% 61-70; 11% 71-80 and 1% over 80.

      It appears that the bulk of the readership (or at least of those that took the time to respond) is 40+. I’m not sure how diverse or representative the group of responders is with respect to the group of all subscribers, but over 250 seems like a good size for a statistically significant sample.

      Comment by Steven Britt | August 3, 2010 | Reply

    • I think that’s a logical conclusion to draw from the data. The ages of those responding to this issue skewed slightly younger than those responding to the first survey, so those interested in these subjects were actually a little higher this time than in the earlier survey—35% compared to 33% and 31% compared to 28%. Even so, to get a “very interested” level in the 28-35% range still shows a lot of interest.

      Even if the readers are older, if they like those articles they may well pass them on to family and friends who are younger and will benefit from them.

      Comment by Scott Ashley | August 3, 2010 | Reply

  4. thanks for sharing this Mr Ashley, I would agree with the findings as I have a similar reaction to the articles as listed. A few years ago I did a brochure drop for “Are we living in the Time of the End?” and we didn’t get much of a response. I thought it might be Sweden has it too good!!! But then most of the booklets that are requested here are Prophetic with End Time and US and BC being the most requested, followed by You Can… Middle East and the Book of Rev. The numbers are not large but still, Prophecy has an audience.
    Thanks again, you and your team do a good job

    Comment by paul spenser | August 3, 2010 | Reply

  5. I am very fond of the gn magazine. It is very inlightening and in perfect alignment with the WORD OF GOD. gOOD WORK SAINTS. much love to you, The Bishop

    Comment by Bishop Donald Hubert Sr. | August 3, 2010 | Reply

  6. If I may say so, for a world wide circulation of 435,000 copies your sampling of 263 is very miniscule and definitely not even 1% of the readership,so what is the purpose of this survey. The magazine may be good for reading but the feedback is far from being representative or meaningful.
    Thank you

    Comment by Samuthiran | August 3, 2010 | Reply

    • The next time you read an article about a nationwide poll, note the sample size. It’s typically about 1,000 to 2,000. And that’s for a nation of 300 million.

      Comment by Scott Ashley | August 4, 2010 | Reply

  7. I have been in the church for over 70 years and I read every word of the good news. when it comes in, I usualy read the entire book before. I lay it down. I want to get the truth engrained in my mind so that I will be able to answer any question I am asked in the world to come. I believe thats why GOD called me and all the rest of us in this age.

    Comment by don hurst | August 4, 2010 | Reply

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