Poll: D.C.-area residents want emergency info from TV, not social media

The United States Capitol building with the dome lit up at night.


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When it comes to information about a health emergency, residents of the Washington, D.C., region are kind of old fashioned — most favor TV and radio as the best way for government to get the message out, and only a minority would want information distributed over social media, according to a new poll.

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) would prefer getting information about a health emergency in the traditional way — through an emergency broadcast on their TV, with radio a close second favored by 60 percent.

The same 60 percent proportion would want text messages, but fewer than half — just 47 percent — would want to get emergency information over social media, and only one-in-five would prefer a robocall.

Baby boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1964, tend to favor TV the most — 78 percent as opposed to 72 in the general population. And fewer than one-third would opt for social media — 28 percent as opposed to 47 percent overall.

Even among social media-friendly millennials, born between 1979 and 1997, the proportion who would want to use social media to get health emergency information from the government was only just a majority — 53 percent as opposed to 47 overall.

The poll of 505 residents of D.C., Maryland and Virginia was conducted online April 13-15 by McGuire for Accenture Federal Services. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.

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