Broadcasts to Cuba:

TV Marti Surveys Are Flawed

NSIAD-90-252: Published: Aug 9, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 27, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) the U.S. Information Agency's (USIA) efforts to assess the effectiveness of a television broadcast's reception in Cuba from March 27 to May 12, 1990; and (2) information from the U.S. Interest Section in Havana about the effectiveness of Cuban efforts to jam the broadcasts.

GAO found that: (1) to assess Cuban broadcast viewership, USIA developed two sets of questionnaires to interview visitors arriving in Miami from Cuba, but both questionnaires and the reported results had methodological flaws; (2) survey results differed widely from information the U.S. Interest Section reported in Havana; (3) USIA reported that, of 424 respondents who tried to tune in, 112 respondents, or 26 percent, were able to view the television broadcasts for at least 5 minutes; (4) survey projections indicated that 273,000 households in Havana and 3 western provinces, and between 1 million and 1.3 million Cubans, could have viewed the broadcasts during the test period; (5) an earlier USIA survey reported that 7.3 million Cubans could have viewed the broadcasts, but those projections were invalid because USIA did not base them on a random sample and did not demonstrate the similarity of respondents to Cuban households or to the Cuban population; and (6) contrary to survey results, the U.S. Interest Section in Havana reported that less than one percent of persons interviewed in Cuba had been able to view the broadcasts and that its monitoring indicated that the Cuban government effectively jammed the broadcasts.

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