RJI-DPA Tablet Research Project

By Roger Fidler on May 4, 2012 19 Comments Experiments Research

About the DPA | DPA Tablet Research Project | DPA Members | Tablet & E-Reader Symposiums | eMprint | Newsbooks | Newsbook Catalog

2012 Mobile Media News Consumption Survey:
The Reynolds Journalism Institute conducted a multi-year study on how owners of tablets and other mobile media devices are using these devices in their daily lives and how their use may influence the future of journalism and the news media.

More than 1,000 randomly selected individuals were interviewed for this national phone survey between January 17 and March 25, 2012. The questionnaire was designed to gain insights into who is using smartphones, tablets and other mobile media devices and for what purposes in addition to consuming news.

More than 2,100 self-selected individuals completed this online survey on the use of Apple iPads and other media tablets. This was the first RJI online tablet survey to include international users of all brands of media tablets. The survey was online from July 15 through November 3, 2011.

Spring 2011 iPad Panel Survey:
The 561 panelists who completed this survey in March 2011 were selected from the nearly 1,600 Apple iPad owners who participated in RJI’s Fall 2010 iPad News Survey. Panelists were offered a $10 iTunes Gift Card as an incentive to complete this follow-up survey.

Fall 2010 iPad News Survey:
Nearly 1,600 iPad owners participated in RJI’s initial survey of iPad usage for news content. It was online from the beginning of September through the end of November in 2010.

This research project is partially funded by the Digital Publishing Alliance (DPA), a member-supported initiative of the RJI. More information about Digital Publishing Alliance can be found at: http://rjionline.org/digital-publishing-alliance.

All RJI-DPA iPad/Tablet online surveys are powered by SurveyGizmo survey software.

No votes yet



I love my iPad. I need to learn to use Pages to its fullest capabilities; I do a lot with QuarkXress on my laptop and desktop Macs.


I love my original iPad. Weighs a lot less than my Macbook.

I need to learn to use Pages to its fullest capabilities; I work in QuarkXpress on my laptop and desktop Macs.


I publish a local online news publication. I use my iPad to keep me informed when I'm on the go. I also use it to update stories when I'm in the field.
My iPad also comes in handy when I'm in a meeting showing others what my website has to offer. I can pass my tablet around the table when I'm talking. I rarely use a laptop anymore.


I enjoy my Windows-based Tablet. I don't have to spend more money on apps to run on my Windows tablet. It's the same applications that run on my desktop. It's touch based, just like my Windows desktop at home.

It is expandable & can plug into many external devices, be used with or without a keyboard, with or without a stylus.

It can drive an HDMI display.

It has a dual-core processor that is as fast as my desktop machines. It's much more lightweight.

Asus has a winner. It's hard for anybody to keep this tablet in stock.

Windows Slate/Tablet

I took the survey and was really disappointed in the bias towards apple products shown in it. Both in the Mobile Phone section as well as the still referencing "tablet pc" as an OS. I would love for RJI to be more in tune with the rest of the world, eventhough I know what a large supporter of the J-School apple is.

I agree that once someone gets their hands on the Asus slate they usually do not let it go.

Ease of Use with a different meaning

I use my MacBook Pro for anything that requires more than a little inputting or fast surfing for information.

Entering keypadded information on the iPad is a big pain, on the other hand, so would never consider that its strong point.

"Ease of use" means something entirely different when it comes to the iPad. What I like about it is that it is "fiddle free." So no waiting for things to load, balls to spin, sleep or waking up to occur, and so on. It just happens.

90% of what I do on my iPad is read, so that's my main expectation and it carries out that function fantastically well.

General comment

Tablets represent a profound new channel for content distribution and consumption. Mine goes with me everywhere, and I consider it a much different type of device than I do my laptop computer. Slowly but surely a divide is emerging between the things I do on the laptop:

  • software development,
  • research papers,
  • "business stuff")\

and what I do on the iPad:

  • short note taking,
  • playing games,
  • social networking,
  • reading news,
  • reading online comics
  • .

It's an interesting and organic evolution that separates my use cases for the different hardware and software platforms

HP Touchpad

The web with flash is the best app of all. On my android smartphone the only "apps" I use are juice defender (regulates the battery unobtrusively), hotspot widget(originally part of the OS), and GeoQpons. I have no need for a million useless apps that might as well be website wrappers.


News360 on my Android phone. Google news app as well.
Other than that, typically using web-based news often from Google News to find articles on traditional news sites. Still far too much active content just being made convenient on the iPad. Eg CBC apps (yes they have a basic Android app, but the rest is Apple)
Using HP Touchpad running WebOS and Ubuntu, Android phone, Windows, Mac OSX and Ubuntu laptop/desktops

Your survey was good, however

Your survey was good, however this final screen did not open on a separate window and is bhind the aP interface, making it near impossible to read or comment.

Strange final page

You page went clear and then became hard to read I couldn't tell if the survey was done. Very stange sone HTML code also showing through

iPad changed my reading

iPad changed my reading life.
It is now my source of world information

Galaxy tab

Shame you limited some questions. I use twitter as my main news source, checking out stories after I see them there. I use the tab 24/7 because of its portability. It lives in my bag or my hand.

I simply use both Samsung Galaxy Tab 7" and iPad 2

Kind of strange when I was forced to say which one I use more often. I simply use both of them, and they have their own advantages. Galaxy Tab is much easier to carry around, and it's actually a phone! It's much lighter than the iPad. My iPad stays most of the time in my office. I take it outside only when I know I want to show someone something on the road, or when I was away from home for days or weeks.

But iPad offers a better reading experience. Thanks to its larger screen. As a result, I found myself usually read news headlines, short summaries and tweets on Galaxy Tab; and browse the web and read magazines and long stories on iPad. Since I don't really like to stare at a very bright screen for too long, I still prefer reading books on eBook readers. (all media tablets are too bright for me to read more that 30 minutes straight, even at minimum brightness).

In the survey, I chose to answer Galaxy Tab since when I was away from my office, Galaxy Tab can do all the things I would need, in mostly acceptable way. So it's the only tablet in my bag when I'm on the move.

Just can't wait for better devices coming out next year. (or years, maybe?)

saudi arabia _ adammam

It very good app

Very good

Very good

indie media podcast, blogs and news referal by social network

I got hooked on non-traditional news sources after conducting research on how mobile device users consume news. The growing trend is away from commercial news sources and towards indie/social news outlets like blogs, podcast and reading webpages referred by people they follow via twitter and other social networks.
Where does this fit in to the traditional news outlet. 1) Abandon the notion of "subscribers." Your news will become one source in a conglomeration on the web (each and every story will gain or lose readers to you - and possibly advertisers). To keep visitors you will have to keep it socially relevant, keep it straight forward, keep it honest (one misquote, or inaccurate fact can create a backlash in the social networks destroying the trustworthiness of your brand), Keep it well researched (while source situations are not the norm for traditional news, they are helpful in the era of social news and social media).

No to ads on ipads

Please don't trash the Ipads with ADS that's is the reason I don't like newspapers and tv ,

Very nice program.

Very nice program.

Add Your Comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Filtered words will be replaced with the filtered version of the word.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

You don't have to log in to leave a comment, but please leave your name.
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.