Good news in readership figures

Last updated 09:29 31/08/2012

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We've had some great news at the Express and it's time to share the joy.

The latest figures from Nielsen - the independent company that does annual surveys of newspapers - show that more people are reading the Express each day, and our weekly newspapers.

This is the sort of stuff editors like to talk about.

There are two official ways of measuring the success of a daily newspaper. One is paid sales (called "circ") and the other is readership.

Our audit figures show the number of people buying the paper each day, the circ, is down a little. But the Nielsen survey shows more people are actually reading the papers. Fewer buying, more reading equals more people sharing their copy.

We all know it's easy to play with numbers, but I'll resist the urge.

The results tell us that of the 40,000 people above the age of 15 in Marlborough, an average of 59.3 per cent were reading the Express each day during the year to June 30. That's about 24,000 people each day, which is up 3000 on the previous year.

It's one of the highest readership rates of a daily newspaper in the country. There are only two better - the Taranaki Daily News and the Gisborne Herald.

And it gets slightly better. The survey tells us 83.4 per cent (34,000 people) read at least one copy of the Express every week.

This tells me the majority of adults in this region still catch up with the news that interests us the most - the stories about our neighbours, our council, our champions, the issues that affect us - via their daily newspaper.

Our "community" newspapers are doing really well, too. The survey shows 87.6 per cent (35,000) of people here are reading Marlborough Midweek each week, and 80.6 per cent (33,000) read Saturday Express. That's not the number of papers we print and deliver, it's the number of people who pick up the papers and read.

And that's not our total number of readers.

During the past four weeks, roughly 85,000 people have read news on our website, which is an average of about 2850 a day (and that doesn't include people coming back more than once). During the first week of the month, our Facebook page reached 22,416 people and the most popular story of the month on Facebook was about a suggested sign for Joseph Sullivan, which was picked up by 9879 people.

I like all those numbers. For all that people give us some robust feedback like a family member, it shows we are still part of their daily routine.

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- The Marlborough Express

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