Majority of N.C. residents favor TV channel for state legislative sessions and hearings

Seven out of 10 residents in North Carolina say they are interested in a television channel that would televise state legislative sessions and legislative committee hearings, according to data compiled in the most recent Elon University Poll.

Download Results

The question was posed after a legislative committee began studying the issue earlier this season. That committee met again today (Oct. 21, 2008).

One in four respondents indicated not being interested in such a service.

The poll, conducted Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 by the Elon University Institute for Politics and Public Affairs, surveyed 477 North Carolina residents and has a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points. The sample is of the population in general, with numbers that include both landlines and cellular phones.

Question: “As you may be aware, the North Carolina legislature is studying the possibility of a state government channel on television that would air the state legislative sessions, as well as legislative committee hearings. How [interested or uninterested] are you in a television channel that would broadcast North Carolina state government? Would you say you are: [not at all interested, somewhat interested, or very interested]?”

  • Very Interested: 29%
  • Somewhat Interested: 42%
  • Not at all Interested: 26%
  • Don’t Care About It: 1.6%
  • Don’t Know: 1.5%
  • Refused: 0.1%
  • Total (N=477; +/- 4.58)

North Carolina currently feeds audio via the web, but not video, from the General Assembly and two committee rooms. Other states with a population similar North Carolina’s provide video from their state governments and frequently other government programming.

The Elon Poll asked residents what other types of programming they would have an interest in seeing.

Question: “A new state government channel would likely televise other programs about state government . . . What types of programs, if any, would you have an interest in seeing on a state government channel?” (Open ended, and asked only of respondents indicating “somewhat interested” or “very interested” to previous question.)

  • Government proceedings: 16%
    (Legislature, press conferences, courts, utilities, committee meetings)
  • Economic development: 9%
  • Education: 9%
    (UNC system, community colleges, elementary and secondary schools)
  • Election/Public Affairs programs: 8%
    (Debates, public talks, political experts)
  • Culture Programs: 6%
    (Travel and tourism, history, museums, historic sites, state parks)
  • Human services: 6%
    (Health care, immunization information, etc.)
  • Environmental Programs: 5%
    (Conservation issues, reduce/reuse/recycle instructions)
  • Transportation programs: 2%
    (New modes, changes in routes, highway construction, new roads
  • Don’t need the channel: 4%
  • Other: 9%
  • Don’t know: 23%
  • (N=339; +/- 5.43, multiple responses permitted to this question; does not total 100%)