TODAY'S LETTERS: Online Ratings, Reagan and Islamic Relations Groups

By , E&P | Editor & Publisher, November 19, 2007 | Go to article overview

TODAY'S LETTERS: Online Ratings, Reagan and Islamic Relations Groups


, E&P, Editor & Publisher


Readers wrote in about online ratings, Reagan and Islamic relations groups.

30 Most Popular Newspaper Sites for OctoberWe would like to add some important context to your website's story on the release of the October Nielsen Online ratings.

While the ratings have value as a national measure of website audience, they are not a sensitive enough instrument to accurately gauge the popularity of websites with a regional focus -- websites such as seattletimes.com. The ratings are a one-month snapshot that, in the case of the Seattle market, have shown significant swings from one month to the next. Moreover, the basic methodology underlying them has generated controversy.

The total picture of news website usage in the Seattle region is significantly different. Our data, as well as Scarborough surveys of usage in the 17-county Seattle region, show that seattletimes.com is by far the leading newspaper website in the region. According to Scarborough, seattletimes.com has the largest overall share of the adult audience reading newspaper sites. And our own analytics, which capture traffic for both the Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer sites, show that seattletimes.com leads in both the number of unique visitors and page views.

We are careful to weigh multiple measurements of our audience to present a balanced picture of our traffic and usage. We wish that E&P, in its reporting, would provide similar context -- or, at the least, a detailed explanation of the Nielsen methodology and margin of error -- when writing about monthly numbers.

Kathy BestManaging Editor/Digital News and InnovationThe Seattle Times

More Shots Fired in 'NYT' Op-Ed 'War' Over Reagan and Racism The news media's propensity to, well there are differences of opinion, so let's leave it at that, has resulted in a poorly informed public and terrible social policy decisions.

Is there any question Reagan started his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site of the civil rights assassinations? Is there any question he talked about "states rights" in his speech? None on both counts. Now, here is where there might be some disagreement -- did (does?) talking about states rights signal racists? I think there is little question of that. Do you?

Michael HechtDistinguished ProfessorCommunication Arts and SciencesPenn State University

Journalists' Guides to Understanding Islam and Muslims To Be DistributedIs it really possible that an entity like CAIR could provide genuine guides to understand Islam? …

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TODAY'S LETTERS: Online Ratings, Reagan and Islamic Relations Groups
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