The internet as a medium

The impact of the Internet on printed newspaper readership has been much debated, with champions and naysayers on both sides of the issue. Some newspapers see their online versions as a valuable brand extension, while others position their sites as a separate product from the print edition. Still others are increasingly concerned that since enthusiasm for funding Internet ventures has waned, management perceives newspaper websites as expensive money-losing experiments. The questions of cannibalization between the print and Internet version, and duplication of their readership, have not been much addressed with data. Additionally, little data exists comparing the characteristics of the readers of the electronic and print versions of the paper. This paper attempts to shed light on this topic with the use of a single-source database measuring both readership of the print and internet versions of major market newspapers in three U.S. markets; Miami, FL, Seattle, WA and Washington, DC. The unique feature of the database is the similarity of question administration for both the print and online readership questions. Additional data is incorporated from Scarborough’s print readership trends across the top 50 U.S. markets. A third data source is a special Scarborough study of National Internet Usage, including detailed questions on traditional and new media usage. This study provides additional detail on consumers’ attitude towards, and usage of, online newspaper media contrasted with traditional printed newspapers.

Download Paper (PDF)


Symposium: ,
Authors: ,