Papers and mags reach readership compromise

Papers and mags reach readership compromise

The National Readership Survey, the main media currency for newspapers and magazines, has undergone a radical revamp after overcoming a major dispute between newspaper and magazine bosses.

Over the past few weeks, the group has rolled out a more advanced system for interviewing nearly 40,000 people about which publications they read.

The rollout is a major breakthrough for the organisation, after plans for the new system ground to a halt last year when a pilot project showed some tabloid newspapers suffering a loss in readers to magazines.

This led to a brake being put on the system by newspaper bosses within the NRS.

However, after larger trials involving 18,000 readers suggested the smaller pilot results had been misleading, the system has received the green light from both magazines and newspapers.

Steve Millington, NRS client services director, said: "The publishers of those newspapers had obviously not felt very secure at allowing the system to be introduced but everyone is now fully behind the survey."

The NRS has managed to achieve harmony at a time when the likes of Barb and Rajar continue to be dogged by accusations of failing to keep up with the pace of technology.

Its new system revolves around dispensing with oldfashioned "prompt cards" used in interviews with readers, replacing them with computer prompts.

The innovation has lead the group to consider more radical changes, such as ditching facetoface interviews altogether.

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