Readership survey

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Just above this column is a window that reads “reader survey“. Click on it and go to defenceWeb’s Reader Survey. You may well win two gratis tickets to attend defenceWeb’s Peacekeeping Africa 2010 conference in August!

The purpose of the survey is to gather and analyse in a scientific manner what you think of defenceWeb as we approach our second birthday and to see what you think we can do better or do differently.

The survey, now live, will run until the end of July. We will in early August randomly select a respondent as the winner of the two tickets. Should that person not be able to attend, we will select another respondent for the prize worth about R8000. “We value your input in a very real way,” says defenceWeb editor Leon Engelbrecht.

In the twenty months since defenceWeb launched in September 2008 it has gone a long way to becoming what was envisaged – the authoritative African source of African defence and security news, he adds. “But that doesn’t mean we should rest on our laurels. We can do better. We can do things differently. We can do more. Some of our offering may be dated or unwanted. We may have overlooked something.”



This particular survey looks at defenceWeb’s editorial content. Engelbrecht reminds that defenceWeb seeks to bring you news content that is topical, accurate, timely, fair, balanced and focussed. “To us news is, in the words of former The Star editor Peter Sullivan, the ‘best stab at he truth in the time available’. By ‘topical’ we mean news that is ‘new’ and relevant to the African or Africa-based or Africa-focussed reader. ‘Focus’ means that we concentrate on content that is directly concerned with Africa or otherwise impacts on Africa and Africans or constitutes information we believe African defence and security professionals ‘need to know.’ We concede this can be somewhat subjective. Furthermore, we seek to be ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ by avoiding bias, by contacting all parties involved in the subject of a report and reflecting as many views on a subject as is possible.
“In addition to the above, news must be intelligible and readable. That means reports ought to be properly sub-edited, spelling, grammar and word choice should be correct and the style and tone of reports, analysis, columns and editorial should appeal to the reader. defenceWeb should in particular not hector or lecture.” So, how are we doing? Tell us, please.