MRUC plans improvements in IRS

NEW DELHI: Media Research Users Council (MRUC), which conducts the Indian Readership Survey, is in the process of initiating several improvements in the whole on-going survey.


According to Roda Mehta, chairman of the technical committee of the MRUC, the improvements in research design include IRS sampling districts (ISDs), sub metro sampling and SEC resizing (in Mumbai and Delhi).

The improvements in reporting include edition-wise readership, sub-metro profile, DUE unit (Delhi and Urban Environs)and increasing the sample towns to 62 (it was 48 in IRS 2003-04 Round 1). The improvements are due to the fact that MRUC would prefer, as Mehta pointed out in a detailed presentation (click here for the presentation) yesterday in Delhi, that the IRS would not want its figures to be contested.

"At times we do 100 per cent back checking, if we feel that the data being collected is being influenced (by interested parties like media houses)," she said.

What is an ISD ? The IRS Sampling District is a clutch of 'geographically contiguous districts' within an SCR (as defined way back in 1954) and catered by a 'single edition' of major dailies.

Pointing out that sampling by ISDs are tighter than done by SCR-wise, Mehta said, it would mean wider spread, better representation of urban/rural universe and insights at the "micro level."

Speaking on the resizing of the SECs, she said that it was felt that large sample surveys under-estimate and under-report SECs (A1 & A2 ) due to inability to access, unavailability and not being listed in the electoral rolls --- something that comes out of an n apathy towards politics and politicians.

Mehta also said that MRUC, along with the Hansa Research Group, has further taken the numbers through some number crunching to come up with SPARR (sections, pullouts & attitudinal readership research).

Unveiling the Delhi-specific figures, Mehta said, "SPARR is a new offering to the market to empower better decisions guided by psychographic definitions right down to a sub-city level." The future roadmap for this tool, at the moment done in Delhi and Mumbai, is another six cities, including Bangalore, Chennai and Ahmedabad, over a short period of time.

So, compared to the main newspapers, lifestyle and entertainment pages or sections occupy a higher share of readership ranging between 40-81 per cent. The corresponding figures for investments, property and business was 34-41 per cent, general news was 43-60 per cent and city-specific specials 42-57 per cent.

In TOI, a whopping 60 per cent read the Delhi Times section, while almost 55 per cent HT readers read HT city.

The front page is read by most readers (80-95 per cent), but as the progressions happens to inside pages the readership of individual pages starts dipping. City news has between 70-85 per cent readership in newspapers, while the national news readership goes down to 53-69 per cent. International news readership further slips to 39-54 per cent and sports ranges between 25-42 per cent.

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