Last week the latest National Readership Survey (NRS) figures were released, detailing how many of us Joe publics pick up and read a newspaper or news online every day. Despite being one set of figures, different media outlets managed to report the news with different angles. And quite self-serving angles at that.
Take for example The Telegraph’s opening line “More people read The Telegraph online and in print every day than any other quality daily, new independent figures reveal”.
Seems quite straightforward, survey shows more people read The Telegraph than any other paper – if you discount non-quality types like The Sun. The paper backs this up by stating “The first study to combine print and web readership has found that 1,946,000 people read The Telegraph every day, compared to 1,346,000 for The Times”.
All sounds good, until you read The Guardian’s piece on the same survey results. “The Guardian had the biggest combined print and online monthly readership of British national quality titles in the year to the end of March, according to the latest National Readership Survey (NRS) figures.”
But that sounds like The Guardian is saying it is the most read quality paper. It’s report has figures too, “The Guardian and guardian.co.uk’s readerships combined gave an average monthly readership of 8.95 million in the 12-month period, ahead of the Daily Telegraph/Telegraph.co.uk audience of 8.82 million”.
Ah, there is it you see. The Telegraph is measuring on the largest number of daily readers, whereas The Guardian has gone for average monthly readers over a year. So it’s sort of comparing one day to one year…very sort of. I’m more inclined towards The Guardian’s stats, as measuring over the last year seems like a better indication of readership levels. In reality there’s no way to be certain which of these papers’ is the more widely read. The only thing we’re sure of it The Indy is well and truly in fourth place, lagging behind even The Times despite its full fat paywall.