Thursday, September 07, 2006

Irish Newspaper Readership 2006

The Irish Examiner reported on Wednesday that its average readership soared by 16,000 in the past year although it had no increase in circulation

"For the second year in a row the Irish Examiner has achieved the highest readership growth of any daily Irish newspaper," the paper reported. "Our gains have far outstripped those of the Irish Times, while the Irish Independent continues to lose thousands of readers."

In September 2005, the Irish Examiner reported that it "has confirmed its position as Ireland’s most dynamic newspaper, adding thousands of daily readers over the past year while its competitors lost thousands. The independently audited Joint National Readership Survey (JNRS) figures show that this newspaper gained 36,000 extra readers a day between June 2004 and June 2005. In contrast, the Irish Independent lost 27,000 daily readers and the Irish Times 12,000 in the same period."

The Irish Examiner circulation has not changed in the past two years despite the jump in readership.

Thomas Crosbie Holdings, also owns the Sunday Business Post, which has increased its circulation by an impressive 7% in the past year. Readership jumped 14%.

Unlike Sky News polls, where numbers are never disclosed, the Joint National Readership Survey (JNRS) is carried out by an independent market research company and therefore should have credibility but it's hard to believe that a Sunday business newspaper has as many readers per copy as other newspapers. It suggests that excluding copies that are read by a single reader, that the newspapers has 6-7 readers per copy.

The National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI) said in a statement on Tuesday that "more than three million (3.032m) Irish adults are now regular newspaper readers. That’s the main finding of the 2005-06 Joint National Readership Survey (JNRS), which was published today. The survey shows that newspapers have attracted 65,000 new readers in the past year, and that 57% of Irish adults regularly read daily newspapers while 75% regularly read Sunday newspapers.

The figures highlight the traditional strength and enduring popularity of newspapers in our society – the newspaper is the medium that most people around the world say they “could not live without” – as well as reflecting other factors such as Ireland’s continuing population growth and buoyant economy.

The latest JNRS report shows that young people, in particular, continue to choose the printed word for their daily news and entertainment. Despite the fragmentation of the youth media market, 89% of Ireland’s under-25s (570,000) regularly read newspapers, while 94% of those with home internet access are also regular newspaper readers.

“Prophets of doom were wrong”

“Today’s report shows that the prophets of our doom got it wrong,” said Frank Cullen of National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI). “Not so long ago we were being told that the internet and other new media would bring about the demise of newspaper-reading, especially among young people. These figures clearly show that the opposite is true – more young people than ever are now reading our titles.”

Frank Cullen says "These figures clearly show..." But do they??

Over 7,100 interviews were conducted by Lansdowne Market Research for the readership survey amongst a representative sample of the adult population by personal in-home interview, using a combination of face-to-face and self-completion questionnaires.