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MRUC puts the ball in RSCI court; INS sticks to its 24-hour ultimatum

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MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: The last couple of days have been a nail-biting one for everyone having an interest in the Indian Readership Survey. From the time the IRS 2013 was made public, publishers of newspapers and magazines have gone through a lot of turmoil because of the data provided.

As claimed by many, IRS 2013 has a lot of anomalies and hence, after a meeting on Monday, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) gave an ultimatum to Media Research Users Council (MRUC) to withdraw IRS 2013 within 24 hours or else face its rejection by publishers.

MRUC today held an emergency meeting to decide on how to respond to the ultimatum by INS. After the meeting, MRUC issued a statement saying it cannot unilaterally decide on the withdrawal the latest readership survey.

The Readership Studies Council of India (RSCI), a joint body of MRUC and the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), has called for a meeting on 19 February before any further decision is taken.

“Unlike three years ago, MRUC no longer can take a decision on its own. RSCI will take a final call now,” says IRS Technical Committee Chairman Paritosh Joshi.

The members of MRUC unanimously voiced their opinion on the findings. They said decided aspects of the study will be placed before the RSCI to help the broader community of stakeholders convince themselves about the study’s robustness and integrity. The IRS 2013 was contracted to Nielsen.

Joshi feels that a new methodology was used for IRS 2013, which could have caused some confusion amongst the stakeholders and that they will need time to understand not only the findings but also the methodology which has gone into it.

The MRUC statement said IRS 2013 cannot be compared with past readership surveys and that the findings are based on the latest census data. It also goes on to say that the study design includes a margin of error.

INS continues to stick to its 24-hour ultimatum given on Monday, 3 January, according to INS newsprint committee chairman Mohit Jain.

Jain told indiantelevision.com, “The report submitted by MRUC (today) has been considered in-depth and the members (of INS) have taken a decision to collectively to reject it.”

INS members were still in a meeting on the issue at the time of filing the story.

Click here to read MRUC’s statement

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