Newspaper Sites Draw Larger Local Audiences

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Updated at 5:30 p.m. EST, May 10, to include list of papers attracting over 20% of local adults

Daily newspapers are building local readership on their Web sites, according to a 2001 survey of 85 metro markets by The Media Audit, a service of Houston-based International Demographics Inc.

Twenty-eight of the daily newspaper Web sites attracted over 20% of local market adults during the previous month, according to telephone surveys conducted in 2001. In the previous year, only seven newspaper sites attracted over 20%.

The number of online newspapers attracting over 10% of local adults jumped from 48 to 100 from 2000 to 2001.

While the percentages are low, International Demographics Co-chairman Bob Jordan believes that the growth of newspaper Web sites is important as publishers strive to seek young and affluent audiences — which tend to access the Internet more frequently, according to Media Audit data.

“The Web may be the vehicle that extends and broadens [print newspapers’] reach in the communities they serve,” Jordan said in a statement.

Media Audit ranks The Washington Post‘s Web site as the most successful. Washingtonpost.com attracted 40.2% of local adults in the 2001 survey.

The other newspapers that attracted over 20% of local market adults were:

Omaha World-Herald, 27.4%
San Antonio Express-News, 27%
Charlotte Observer (Charlotte.com), 26.6%
Hartford Courant, 26.1%
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 25.5%
Orlando Sentinel, 25.2%
Sacramento Bee, 24.8%
Daily Oklahoman, 24%
Kansas City Star, 23.5%
New Orleans Times-Picayune, 23.4%
Raleigh News & Observer, 23%
Ann Arbor News, 23.4%
Lexington Herald-Leader, 23%
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 22.4%
Virginian Pilot (Norfolk), 22.3%
Houston Chronicle, 21.9%
Seattle Times, 21.8%
San Diego Union-Tribune, 21.4%
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 20.8%
Jackson Clarion Ledger, 20.8%
Charlotte Observer (CharlotteObserver.com), 20.7%
Des Moines Register, 20.7%
Arizona Republic, 20.6%
Buffalo News, 20.4%
Albany Times-Union, 20.1%
Florida Times-Union, 20%
Wisconsin State Journal 20%

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