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Pepper Grinder – What Do Students Want From ANU Student Media?

Updated: May 25, 2023

By Callum Florance

*Updated, second-day results in yellow*


Pepper Grinder is a Peppercorn series providing news and reporting relevant to ANU law students and beyond via Peppercorn’s Facebook page and biannual magazine.


If you're in ANU student groups like ANU Schmidtposting, you probably have an opinion on what you like and dislike about ANU student media, or what’s working well and what’s missing. Some ANU student media organisations even get $100,000+ in funding to deliver media to you. But is there value for money in what you’re getting?


On Wednesday 24 May 2023, we went straight to the source and asked ANU students on ANU Schmidtposting what they want from student media. Here’s what we found.


Definitely Want

The most popular wants were (9%+):

  • News and reporting on issues inside of ANU (20.62%, 21.14%)

  • Review articles (13.84%, 14.02%)

  • ANU student satire, comedy and memes (12.71%, 11.99%)

  • Interviews with ANU students, academics, etc. (9.32%, 8.94%)

  • Hosting or covering ANU student events, including creating new events (9.04%, 9.15%)

It’s unclear whether the popularity of these responses reflects what students are currently enjoying from ANU student media, or whether they want to see more of that content.


Either way, ANU students definitely want news and reporting on issues within ANU (e.g., student executives, colleges, etc.), review articles (e.g., on-campus food reviews, student music reviews, etc.), ANU student satire/comedy/memes, interviews (e.g., with ANU students, academics, etc.), and hosting or covering ANU student events/creating new events.


Some Want

The mid-tier wants were (2-8%):

  • Articles for specific colleges and communities (8.19%, 8.33%)

  • Creative and visual works like drawings, art and cartoons (5.65%, 4.68%)

  • Hearing from, and engaging with, underrepresented voices at ANU (5.09%, 5.08%)

  • Crime and justice reporting, including crimes at ANU or justice issues on-campus (4.80%, 5.29%)

  • Academic articles (2.54%, 2.44%)

  • News and reporting on issues outside of ANU (2.54%, 2.85%)

This could be a smaller group of students who are loyal fans/consumers of, or are interested in, that content. This doesn’t necessary mean students don’t want the content, but could reflect some existing gaps in the ANU student media market.


Some ANU students want articles for specific colleges and communities (e.g., residences, STEM, etc.), creative and visual works (e.g., drawings, art, cartoons, etc.), to hear from and engage with underrepresented voices at ANU, academic articles, and news and reporting on issues outside of ANU.


Not Want?

The least popular wants were (0-1%):

  • Opinion articles (1.70%, 2.34%)

  • Podcasts (1.41%, 1.22%)

  • Radio (1.13%, 0.81%)

  • Videos, including video essays, video interviews, and student films (0.85%, 1.42%)

  • Hosting or covering events beyond ANU (0.57%, 0.41%)

Although these were the lowest in popularity, it’d be misleading to say that students definitely don’t want this output from ANU student media. There could be committed students who want to make the content for their own enjoyment/experience and don’t care too much about clicks, listens, reads, etc., as well as an oversaturation in these areas to the detriment of the definite wants from ANU students.


Either way, not many students seem to want opinion articles, podcasts, radio, videos (e.g., video essays, video interviews, student films, etc.), and hosting and covering events beyond ANU.


Conclusion

ANU student media is (largely) unpaid/unfunded and relies on work from committed students in their spare time, so I wouldn’t criticise the supply-side of ANU student media too much. There may also be an overlap between the supply and demand in student media, with some students producing and consuming in the same area.


However, the demand-side, what ANU students actually want, is important. ANU student media should continually reflect on what they’re delivering, why they’re delivering it, and whether they’re investing those countless unpaid hours from committed students (and student funds) in what students want. If you don’t understand your audience, why are you doing it?


* * *


Poll Timing on ANU Schmidtposting (Facebook):

- Post – 11:02am Wednesday 24 May 2023

- Poll at time of writing – 6pm (COB) Wednesday 24 May 2023


Poll Results:

- See below for the results table and graph.

- Results were rounded to two decimal places.

- No ‘Other’ options were recorded as at publication.


Poll Question: What do you want from ANU student media? (choose as many as you like)


Poll Options:

  1. News and reporting on issues inside of ANU (e.g., student executive, colleges, Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, etc.)

  2. News and reporting on issues outside of ANU (e.g., political, regional, local, etc.)

  3. Opinion articles

  4. Review articles (e.g., on-campus food reviews, student music reviews, etc.)

  5. Hosting or covering ANU student events, including creating new events

  6. Hosting or covering events beyond ANU

  7. Creative and visual works like drawings, art and cartoons

  8. ANU student satire, comedy and memes

  9. Crime and justice reporting, including on crimes at ANU or justice issues on-campus

  10. Interviews with ANU students, academics, etc.

  11. Videos, including video essays, video interviews, and student films (e.g., action, thriller, etc.)

  12. Articles for specific colleges and communities (e.g., residences, STEM, etc.)

  13. Podcasts

  14. Hearing from, and engaging with, underrepresented voices at ANU

  15. Academic articles

  16. Other (post in the comments)

  17. Radio

First-day results: Wednesday 24 May 2023



Second-day results: Thursday 25 May 2023 (8pm)



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