Earlier this month, Transparency USA created a survey asking our Texas audience to help shape our content for the Texas Legislative Session. You weighed in on the topics that are most helpful as you seek the answers you need about the money in Texas politics. We wanted to share those results with you. Thanks to those who took the time to respond. Every response helps us serve you better.
While the financial data reported to the Texas Ethics Commission is useful for keeping politicians accountable, without context, the reported numbers can often be confusing or misleading. This is particularly true for database users who are not actively involved in politics themselves. When we create content for Transparency USA, our goal is to provide a framework for that data, giving our audience a launching point to start their own research. To that end, it’s important that we are focusing our efforts on the topics you care about the most.
We kept the survey short and simple, allowing all participants to select as many answers as they were interested in, and to write in any additional topics that were not included. We sent it to everyone on our Texas email list, shared it on our social media channels, and posted it on Transparency USA. Here are the results:
The percentages for each response represent the number of times that option was selected out of the total number of selections made in the survey. Each respondent could make up to seven selections.
The top areas of interest for readers during the 87th Legislative Session are:
This means survey respondents selected these responses more often than any others. Interest in political profiles, simple explanations of money in politics, and specific coverage based on what is happening in the news were close behind. These are all topics that we are excited to cover, and we are happy to have your interest confirmed.
Of the least interest? Explainer pieces detailing how the legislative session works. Got it. We’ll put less focus on this type of content.
Our write-in suggestions were insightful — and varied widely — but one major theme emerged across several of them: You want to know how to connect the dots between lobbying groups and the specific politicians being influenced by their dollars.
Here are few examples of responses along those lines:
Thanks for helping guide our content for 2021. We’ll be addressing the topics you care about most as we follow the 87th Texas Legislative Session and the money in Texas politics. See everything we’ve published so far here.