(LBO) – A new media survey by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) reveals that government Ministers should utilize social media tools to keep in touch with the general public.
“42.2 percent of respondents believe that it is necessary for Government Ministers to use social media to interact with the public, while 26.2 percent believe that it is somewhat necessary,” a top-line report titled Consumption and Perceptions of Mainstream and Social Media in the Western Province said.
44.9 percent of respondents said that they discuss politics and public affairs with others in person every day, while 29 percent said they discuss in person at least once a week.
When breaking down the findings by age, Facebook is the main source of news for the 18 – 24 year respondents followed by private television stations and the Internet/web.
For respondents age 45 and above, Facebook is replaced by privately owned newspapers as a key source of information.
When asked what web based social media sites they use, 73.3 percent said Face book while 32.5 percent said Google Plus. Among those who use Face book, 26.6 percent use Face book more than 5 times a day while another 25.9 percent say they use it 2 – 4 times a day. 21.4 percent of respondents use mobile messaging apps such as Whats App more than 5 times a day and 16.6 percent use them 2 – 4 times a day.
When asked if they enjoy keeping up with the latest news and current affairs, only 1.7 percent of respondents said ‘not at all’ but 55.1 percent said that they enjoy it a lot while 42.3 percent say they enjoy keeping up with some.
The study says that almost 80 percent of the respondents access the Internet using their smart phones while 27.8 percent also access the Internet using desktops while 28.9 percent access using laptops.
34.8 percent respondents have subscribed to SMS news alerts on their mobile phone and 63.8 percent said that they not have subscribed.
Respondents discuss/forward news items on politics and public affairs with others online (such as by e-mail, on a social networking site or using their mobile) less frequently in comparison, with 33.2 percent saying they do it every day while 30.3 percent said at least once a week