THE Scottish Sun is claiming back a readership lead in Scotland reported earlier this month by the Daily Record.
Allmediascotland.com understands that a change to the way readership figures are compiled – allied to a software error in transferring the data over from a computer bureau to the Record’s publishers – led to the Record believing, in good faith, it was the top-read daily newspaper in Scotland.
It said as much in an article published in the paper on the second of this month. It believed, as reported in allmediascotland, that its readership in Scotland was an average 856,000 compared to The Scottish Sun’s 813,000.
But The Scottish Sun is saying otherwise. In a statement, it says: “Figures issued by the National Readership Survey show that The Scottish Sun remains Scotland’s favourite newspaper, with more people reading it than any other.
“A change in the way that data relating to readership figures is obtained led to one of our rivals wrongly claiming to be number one.
“The Scottish Sun not only outsells every other daily newspaper but the NRS figures confirm that it is read by more people every day.
“NRS data shows that from April 2011 to March 2012, The Scottish Sun maintained an average daily readership of 867,000, while the Daily Record only managed 853,000.”
Andy Harries, editor of The Scottish Sun, is quoted, as saying: “The fact is Scots value journalism that puts their interests first which is why they continue to buy The Scottish Sun.”
The NRS is indeed undergoing a change in the way it measures readership – in the jargon, from ‘binary’ to ‘probability’, in line with industry standards. Its survey involves interviewing 36,000 people a year about their lifestyle and readership habits.
NRS figures are issued with a ‘health warning’ that they are produced with a 95 per cent confidence in their accuracy, meaning that closely matched figures can be difficult to tell apart.
A spokesperson from the Record’s publishers, Trinity Mirror, said: “We acted in good faith over the figures as supplied to us by the NRS, who failed to alert publishers to the fact that there were potential conflicts within the data released.”