Irish Times Digital and other yarns

There was a initial raised eyebrow on seeing the ABC cert for the Irish Times website. Raised in a positive way it has to be said. In November 2010 they had 3.9m unique browsers that month and over 36m page impressions. So mental congratulations went their direction. However, the brakes were soon applied on that sentiment when I read, what can only be described as a ‘gushing’ and, if were were splitting hairs (as they were in the story), a disingenuous article in their Business Section the same day.

In an effort to be ‘comparative’ the article made reference to the ABC figures of rival Independent Digital. They pointed out that they had (a paltry) 1.9m unique browsers and 26.6 page impression. What seems to have fallen off the page on the way to the printers was the fact that those Independent Digital figures are a year old – they apply to January 2010.

If the IT can scream in a headline a 82% increase year on year, then surely (and dont…) they could have mentioned that ID figures were 12 stale. Its a little trivial and its apples/oranges.

Further down the page was an article on the unfortunate demise of the Sunday Daily Star. It was fairly matter of fact and the relatively small piece was given two by-lines. Two heads are better than one? Perhaps not.

The story made reference to the the Sunday Daily Star circulation:

The Sunday Star achieved average weekly sales of about 54,000 in the first half of last year – just more than half the level achieved by its sister daily title

“about 54,000 in the first half of last year “ Could neither of them pick up the phone to their circulation department and get it a little less ‘shotgun approach’ to accuracy? The first half of last year was the period Jan-June 2010 – again stretching 12 months back the paper had an average circulation of 54,224. However the latest figure for the paper was 47,247, for November, the November that was two months ago.

The paper really seem to struggle with dates and comparatives.