National Readership Survey partners with JICREG to collect readership data for all regional newspapers
The National Readership Survey (NRS) has announced that from April this year it is planning to collect readership data for all of Britain's regional newspapers.
Publishers have previously relied on the Joint Industry Committee for Regional Media Research (JICREG) to gather information about their readers.
However, NRS and JICREG will now work in partnership to create "a more holistic approach to data capture." They regard it as "a turning point for the industry."
Regional titles will now be included in the 36,000 sample of face-to-face interviews that NRS carries out every year. Survey interviewers will ask a set of specially customised questions for each region in order to create readership estimates specific to individual areas, giving publishers and advertising directors a more detailed knowledge of their audiences.
NRS chief executive Mike Ironside said: "This is another step forward for the NRS in traditional media and shows how trusted our data collection techniques have become within the industry."
JICREG's chief executive, Keith Donaldson, added: "This is a bold move that really demonstrates the commitment by local media owners to prove accountability through high quality regional readership data."
Speaking to the Guardian, Jim Jarrett, business director at the media agency Mindshare, said he also considers it "a really significant development for the regional press." He believes it will enable the planning of ad campaigns "with greater confidence."