As the South African Audience Research Foundation delivers the results of the last run of AMPS figures, the Publisher Research Council and two major media groups are investigating readership numbers in the Western Cape.
Two members of the recently formed Publisher Research Council (PRC), Media24 and Independent Media, have placed an interim embargo on their Average Issue Readership (AIR) figures.
This for their newspaper titles in the Western Cape.
The South African Audience Foundation (Saarf) has been delivering the results of the last run of the All Media Products Survey (AMPS 2015) throughout South Africa this week, culminating in a presentation in Cape Town today [Thursday, 14 April]. The data is under embargo until midday.
In a statement issued early on Thursday morning, the PRC’s Gordon Muller said following “initial scrutiny” of the AMPS 2015 newspaper data for the province, the media houses have embargoed the figures not only for regional titles but also for national newspapers with “a significant footprint in the Western Cape”.
In addition to this there is also an interim embargo on four Media 24 and Independent Media daily newspapers titles – Die Burger, Beeld, Volksblad and Pretoria News – pending an evaluation of the “impact of significant methodological changes on Average Issue Readership (AIR) for these four titles”.
Muller said the research departments of the two newspaper groups had uncovered “inconsistencies” in Western Cape readership figures and that they have been “working closely with the researchers at the Publisher Research Council (PRC) and Nielsen to understand the reasons for these anomalies”.
“Given the severe time constraints between the initial scrutiny of the data and the general release of the data, the PRC and its members have not been able to accurately diagnose and identify reasons for the fluctuations in this one province in question,” Muller said.
Muller said providing an “accurate reflection of reality and data integrity has always been a hallmark of AMPS, and the PRC does not feel comfortable releasing this data until the inconsistencies can be assessed and clarified”.
He said the PRC was working around the clock with the research departments of Media 24, Independent Media as well as Nielsen, SAARF and Telmar to understand and resolve these issues as quickly as possible and that it hoped to “lift this embargo within a week or two”.
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