THERE WAS good news for print and online journalism alike today, a new survey showed.
For traditional newspapers the figures showed that people still trust print for the bulk of their domestic news diet.
For outlets such as independent.ie the readership survey showed that one in five people now read newspapers online.
The data from the Joint National Readership Survey (JNRS) by MillwardBrown Lansdowne comes as Independent.ie recorded another record month for traffic in January. As the country’s top news website, it has increased the number of unique users by more than 70pc up compared to March last year and maintained its lead over the Irish Times for the last six months.
The new study is the first JNRS since it began 40 years ago to incorporate questions specifically about online reading habits.
It shows that four in five adults have read an Irish print newspaper in the past day while for online the figure is 1 in 10 in the past day. The figure rises to almost one in five reading online over the course of the six-month survey period beginning last June.
The survey shows a marked difference between demographics for online usage with 28pc of readers in the AB category reading an Irish newspaper online at least once a week. The urban/rural breakdown is even more stark with 20pc of the Dublin market reading online once a week versus 10pc for the rest of the country.
Almost one-third of daily online readers use mobile phone apps to read the sites. About 5pc read the news via e-paper – electronic replicas similar to PDFs – while the remainder go directly to the site or via Facebook and Twitter.
“Whether readers choose to access newspaper content in print or online, it is the quality of content that leads readers to trust newspaper brands,” said Frank Cullen, coordinating director of industry group National Newspapers of Ireland.
MillwardBrown Lansdowne describes its first six-month report as “transitional” and will release a fuller version in August that will enable a more detailed comparison of changing readership habits.