Snap, Rupert!

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Spot the difference. None? You’re almost right – only the page folio is different: July 2, 2009 (the one on the left) and the other, today, August 9, 2013.

 

Yet the ad’s main text says: “Who’s reading what in The Centre?” That suggest it refers to the present. In fact it is quoting a Roy Morgan survey of 2008.

 

Quite a lot has changed between the ads’ appearances four years ago and today. The Alice Springs News, to which a readership of 44.6% is attributed in the ad well behind the Advocate’s, has undergone a very successful transition to exclusive online publication – in line with what’s happening the world over.

 

We totally revised our site founded in 1997 among the first online newspapers in this country. The transition began in March 2011, two years and five month before today’s Centralian Advocate ad.

 

What also happened is that the Advocate’s circulation in 2009 was 6887. Now it is 5991, a drop of 13%. No wonder the American owned paper is quoting figures more than four years out of date, rather than the figures from “Circulation Audit Board SEP 2012, Roy Morgan 2012” cited on the website “NewsSpace” in relation to News Corp.

 

The Advocate suggests there may be confusion. It gets that bit right.

 

For example, on its News Corp page the Murdoch owned paper quotes a readership of 13,000, giving Roy Morgan as the source.

 

Right next to that appears this: “Our market research shows that more than 85 per cent of people aged over 14 read the Advocate each week – that is more than 17,000 readers per edition.” No source is given for that; nor is distinction made between the Tuesday and Friday editions.

 

I tried to discuss all this with Advocate editor Bryan Littlely. But alas, after a very brief chat he hung up on me.

 

We’re happy to share with our readers and advertisers our stats – which are up to the minute and detailed to the accuracy of one: For example, in the month between July 9 and today we had 45,704 page views, 21,895 visits and 11,374 unique visitors. More details are available.

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3 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Laughing
    Posted August 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    The Advocate is a joke – Now that it its printed in Darwin most Tuesday and Friday mornings it is not in stores until after 8.30am.
    This also means their deadlines are moved forward so the most recent news stories are not included.
    I laughed out loud when they published that they had been nominated for some sort of journalism award – half of their content is lifted straight from the news.com.au website

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  2. Posted August 10, 2013 at 10:24 am

    On the same day this full page ad was reprinted came the news of News Corp Australia chief executive Kim Williams resigning from his position; and this is hot on the heels of public debate about the role of this company in attempting to influence voters’ decisions in the current federal election campaign.
    According to ABC news coverage of Williams’ resignation, likely reasons ‘behind the scenes’ of his departure is the continuing decline of newspaper circulation throughout the country and disappointing uptake of online subscriptions.
    I think the real reason for newspaper decline is much more simple – the standard for what passes for journalism in News Corporation is nothing short of execrable, and the public is inexorably turning away from a business that treats its readership with such contempt.
    In Australia the Murdoch stable runs under the banner of “News Limited”, which (quite frankly) I think is the most honest part of the company – for its news is indeed very limited.

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  3. Francis Markham
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Glad to hear that your paper is still going strong.
    It’s worth noting that I mostly read the Alice Springs News via your RSS feed – formerly via the discontinued Google Reader and now using Feedly.
    This means that, according to Google Analytics, my readership doesn’t show up in your stats https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1008065?hl=en unless I click through to read the comments. A similar caveat might apply to your email newsletter.
    In consequence, depending on how widespread this practice is among your readership, your statistics might be a substantial underestimate.

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