Sloppy in the Extreme

If a publication takes it on itself to report on its peers, then the one thing they should do is get it right. If they report on the media in a section called ‘Media and Marketing’ then they should really redouble their efforts. If you wanted to get an accurate report on the circulation figures of newspapers in Ireland then you should have steered clear of a fairly forgetful bit of reporting in the Sunday Business Post on Sunday Feb 21st. Their article on the circulation figures of Newspapers sold in the Republic was not only incorrect, but particularly selective. Leaving aside the annoyingly jingoistic terms like ‘British-owned titled’ (always remembering that we dealing with a parent group from the Peoples Republic) the article would leave you with the impression that the ‘domestic’ papers, if such a thing exist, were in some way superior to the other publication found on the shelf. The table that appeared in the piece had a heading of ‘Newspaper Sales 2009’ – which they were not. They were actually newspapers sales July – December 2009. This would have been verified if they looked at their own figure! Not to be content with that howler, the table then has this amazing assertion referring to the figures for the Sunday Times, The Irish Mail on Sunday and the Irish Daily Mail:

“The numbers refer to the last six months of 2009 only. Full year numbers are not available for British-owned titles”

What utter rubbish. They are available, if you do a small bit of digging – or actually keep track of them . Perhaps if the author of the article had even contacted the circulation department of the Business Post they may have helped. The publication is a member of the ABC and therefore should have full access to all the ABS’s data. Perhaps if the author had spent a little time on that site and did a bit of digging we would all been better informed. But to claim that the figures “are not available” is ridiculous in the extreme. Perhaps it should have read “the figures are not available because we didn’t look hard enough”. As for the table, well if you’re discussing newspaper circulations, then give the full picture don’t be selective about which members you report.