Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oregonian Doctors Account of Circulation "Gain"

Oregonian reporter Allan Brettman notes a 1.6% rise in circulation from September, 2010, to September, 2011.
"Average daily circulation for The Oregonian increased to 242,784 for the six months that ended Sept. 30, according to figures released Tuesday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. That's up 3,713 copies or 1.6 percent, from the same period a year earlier."
Oregonian Managing Editor, Therese Bottomly echoes Brettman's account.

Though Brettman links to the the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) report, neither he nor Bottomly mention ABC's advice not to compare this year's September numbers to last year's September numbers because measurement standards changed last October
"Today’s FAS-FAX report reflects the U.S. newspaper rule changes that went into effect last October. This FAS-FAX report, therefore, has new and redefined categories of circulation. A fact sheet and a list of frequently asked questions about the changes are available here. And as a reminder, ABC recommends not making direct comparisons of September 2011 data to prior audit periods."
[emphasis added]
Brettman also fails to note the Oregonian's 6.7% circulation drop (and here) from six months ago (March, 2011) when ABC was using the same standard as in the current September report. Further though Brettman states that the Oregonian is now #21 among the top 25 U.S. newspapers, he does not report that this is a drop from #19 in March, 2011.

If Oregonian reporters and editors leave out three key facts in an article on a subject they know intimately, it seems risky business to depend on Oregonian reporting for a clear, in depth account of other issues.


MAX Redline said...

"If it matters to Oregonians, it's in The Washington Post"

- bumper-sticker from the Packwood era.

T. D. said...

Max, to quote Bert Lahr's cowardly lion, "Ain't it the truth."