The quality of reading survey an instrument for change

The Quality of Reading Survey (QRS), published in 1998, has proven to be one of the most influential pieces of independent research undertaken in the UK press market for many years. The need for more data on ‘quality of reading’ for magazines and newspapers and also basic readership data on national newspaper sections, had long been voiced, particularly by advertisers and agencies. However, due to technical and political issues, the National Readership Survey had not been able to address these issues fully. As a result, the PPA (magazine publishers’ association), IPA (advertising agency association) and ISBA (advertisers’ association) joined forces to produce the Quality of Reading Survey (QRS) – a £500,000 project. Ipsos-RSL conducted the survey. The ‘quality of reading’ questions adopted were: how the publication is read, number of pick-ups, time spent reading, different days of reading, different issues read on last reading day, proportion of pages opened on last day of last issue (these last three questions being combined to create a measure of page exposure), overall proportion of pages opened, and agreement/disagreement with eight qualitative statements about publications.

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