National Readership Survey discusses internet panel proposals

LONDON - The National Readership Survey is preparing a radical overhaul that includes recruiting an online panel.

The NRS, which covers newspaper and magazine readership, is based on a random sample of 36,000 adults, who are interviewed face to face on an annual basis.

NRS stakeholders have received proposals to double the size of the survey and to introduce online submissions. Half of the panel will be asked about newspapers and half about magazines.

The potential changes are the result of a review undertaken in response to criticism that the survey is outdated compared with rivals.

The NRS believes the internet sample, selected fro ma panel of up to 200,000 people, will be more representative of the general public than the current face-to-face sample.

It has presented its proposals to senior managers at national newspapers, consumer titles, agencies and ISBA.

Simon Marquis, the chairman of the NRS, said: "We have not yet had formal feedback through the NRS board and it is still very early days. I do not want to jump the gun.

"Nevertheless, there are potentially very real advantages in terms of using the internet of cost efficiency, the speed of responding to changes in the publishing market, and flexibility to produce quantitative and qualitative data.

"There is still a great deal of work to be done before we can make changes of this nature but the future looks exciting.

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