The impact of online reading on traditional print media estimates

The development of online editions of conventional print media vehicles has raised questions regarding the measurement of the printed editions themselves. In the U.S., neither the MRI questionnaire, the IntelliQuest questionnaire, the J. D. Power questionnaire nor the MARS questionnaire is specific as to whether or not such online versions should be included or excluded from the audience estimates. The Mendelsohn questionnaire does use a column heading that reads, for example, “Publications Printed Weekdays� in referring to dailies, but it is not specific as to whether the respondent should exclude or include online reading. It is not clear what effect, if any, this non-specificity is having on the print audience estimates these studies generate. The present paper is the result of an initial attempt better to understand the effect on print audience estimates when the respondent is given specific instructions as to whether they should include or exclude online reading.

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