Dear members,
Thank you for taking the time to participate in the 2021 benchmarking survey. Your responses provide valuable information that will guide programming and organizational decisions. Your responses are also aggregated to provide context and guidance for decisions and issues on your own campuses.
Of course, any survey is limited by participation. Only 116 members completed the survey—down from 135 members in 2020. Obviously, this isn’t a perfect snapshot of our members or of the student media landscape. It is the best data we have, though, and we hope it will be useful to you.
Key takeaways about participating CMA members that will inform programming and initiatives are:
  • Nearly 70 percent of participating members have more than 11 years of advising experience.
  • Public four-year institutions have the greatest number of advisers with fewer than 10 years of experience and advisers from those same institutions comprise more than 55 percent of respondents.
  • Nearly half of participating members from public four-year institutions are part of student affairs, but only one-third of participating members at private four-year institutions are student affairs staff.
  • Members advising community college students are some of the longest-serving advisers, with several reporting more than 25 years in advising.
Information that may prove useful for you in considering your individual programs includes:
  • Community college student media are staying with newspapers at a greater percentage than any other group. This could be due to a variety of factors and could certainly be influenced by participation, but these organizations still need support and training for newspaper staff.
  • Universities of more than 10,000 students were the most likely institutions to create new student media products, to start strategic communication units, to embrace different formats. It’s pretty obvious that larger universities have the ability to draw on a larger pool of students to try new initiatives. HOWEVER, this presents an opportunity for all members to see what’s working and what’s not before making a big switch.
  • Members from larger universities report the greatest diversity of media products, but, even with COVID, most programs report a stable number of media-related units overall. This indicates that organizations are changing with the times, not shrinking.
Again, greater survey participation would give us all better and more representative data, and we will continue to work toward that goal. In the meantime, however, we are happy to provide insights from the data that might help with your individual campus organization.
CMA members can see the full benchmarking survey results via this link.
Members can access past surveys by clicking here.