Measuring Readership:
The Five Key Principles


NRS publishes readership estimates for over 230 very different types of publication, including:

  • 26 national daily and Sunday newspapers
  • 8 regional newspapers
  • 158 consumer magazines
  • 39 newspaper supplements

(Source NRS January-December 2012)

The average participant will have read 15 of these publications in the past year. Great care is needed to ensure that they can identify these titles from the long list of over 300 publications they will be shown initially.

When measuring readership the five key principles are:

  1. Create a level playing field, so that all publications are measured on a like-for-like basis.
  2. Move participants efficiently through the long list of titles surveyed, so that they can identify the titles that they do read. This is done by means of the Extended Media List (EML) technique which presents titles initially in groups of six, so that the participant can decide which groups of six include titles that they have read and discard the rest.
  3. Make respondent recognition the key principle when deciding how to prompt titles and allocate them to the EML screens.
  4. Minimise title confusion by prompting titles which may be prone to confusion alongside one another.
  5. Rotate the order in which publications are presented to participants to avoid bias and offset any fatigue effects. Not only is the overall order rotated, but also the position in which each title is shown in its group of six.
    For a full description of the rotations used, please see please see Technical Information