Conducted in 1998, 2000, and 2002 by the Pew Center for the People and the Press, the Biennial Media Consumption Survey measured the public's use of, and attitudes toward, the Internet and traditional news outlets. Respondents were asked questions concerning their use of newspapers, television news, radio news, and news magazines, including specific programs and publications. Additional questions were asked about respondents' use of the Internet as a news source, in relation to other sources of news. Of particular interest to arts and cultural policy researchers is a question that assesses how closely respondents follow news about "culture and the arts," as well as a dozen other topics. Respondents were also asked a series of questions about the role of the news in their lives and their level of interest in different types of news. In the 1998 survey, respondents were asked to describe in a single word or phrase their impression of either the national or local news media. The 2000 survey included a special set of questions on where people get news about the stock market and financial investing. In the 2002 survey, respondents were also asked a series of questions about the role of the news in their lives and their level of interest in different types of news. Telephone interviews were conducted among a nationwide sample of 3,002 adults, 18 years of age or older, during the period of April 24 to May 11, 1998. In 2000, 3,142 interviews were conducted during the period of April 20 to May 13, 2000. In 2002, 3,002 interviews were conducted during the period of April 26 to May 12, 2002.
Pew Charitable Trusts
Smallest Geographic Unit
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
Date of Collection
1998-04-24 -- 1998-05-11
2000-04-20 -- 2000-05-13
2002-04-26 -- 2002-05-12
Data Collection Notes
Data collection for this study was conducted by Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Funding for this study was provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
This data collection was previously distributed by the Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA). The CPANDA Identification Number (study number) for the entire data collection is c00004. The CPANDA Identification number for the 1998 survey is a00073, for the 2000 survey is a00054, and for the 2002 survey is a00072. The CPANDA conducted the following processing steps for release of this collection: produced a codebook, checked for undocumented codes, performed consistency checks, provided frequencies, performed recodes, and reformatted the data.
Non-response in telephone interview surveys produces some known biases in survey-derived estimates because participation tends to vary for different subgroups of the populations, and these subgroups are likely to vary also on questions of substantive interest. In order to compensate for these known biases, the sample data are weighted in analysis.
Due to the limit in the number of allowable columns of 256 in Excel 97-2003 (file ending, xls), the Excel file being distributed with this collection for the Biennial Media Consumption Survey 2002 is in the later version of Excel (file ending of xlsx).
Results for Biennial Media Consumption Survey are based on telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates among a nationwide samples. Computer-aided telephone interviews (CATI) were conducted among a nationwide sample of 3,002 adults, 18 years of age or older, during the period of April 24 to May 11, 1998. In 2000, 3,142 interviews were conducted during the period of April 20 to May 13, 2000. In 2002, 3,002 interviews were conducted during the period of April 26 to May 12, 2002. While many survey questions were asked of the entire sample, some were asked of half-samples. In 1998, Questionnaire Form A was administered to 1,499 respondents; Form B was administered to 1,503. In 2000, Questionnaire Form A was administered to 1,593 respondents; Form B was administered to 1,549. In 2002, Questionnaire Form A was administered to 1,551 respondents; Form B was administered to 1,451.
For each survey year, at least 5 attempts were made to complete an interview at every sampled telephone number. The calls were staggered over times of day and days of the week to maximize the chances of making a contact with a potential respondent. All interview breakoffs and refusals were re-contacted at least once in order to attempt to convert them to completed interviews.
The number of telephone numbers randomly sampled from within a given county is proportional to that county's share of telephone numbers in the U.S. Only working banks of telephone numbers are selected. A working bank is defined as 100 contiguous telephone numbers containing three or more residential listings.
In each contacted household, interviewers asked to speak with the "youngest male 18 or older who is at home." If there is no eligible man at home, interviewers asked to speak with "the oldest woman 18 or older who is at home." This systematic respondent selection technique has been shown empirically to produce samples that closely mirror the population in terms of age and gender.
Based on the total samples, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for the 1998 and 2000 surveys. Also, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 2 percentage points for the 2002 survey.
Adults aged 18 and older.
Unit(s) of Observation
Mode of Data Collection
Original Release Date
2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
- Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Biennial Media Consumption Survey [United States, 1998-2002]. ICPSR35576-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-05-26. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35576.v2
2016-05-26 Data Lead-in documentation was added to highlight subjects and variables related to arts and culture.
The demographic weighting parameters were derived from a special analysis of the most recently available Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (March 1996 for the 1998 survey, March 1999 for the 2000 survey, and March 2001 for the 2002 survey). This analysis produced population parameters for the demographic characteristics of households with adults 18 or older, which are then compared with the sample characteristics to construct sample weights. The analysis only included households in the continental United States that contain a telephone. The weights are derived using an iterative technique that simultaneously balances the distributions of all weighting parameters.
Each dataset contains a weight variable WEIGHT.
The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.
- The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. Please see version history for more details.