Traffic to the blog sites of ten of the top online newspapers in 2006 jumped 210% over the previous year, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, due partly to a 9% increase in unique users to the overall websites.
December 2005 saw about 1.2 million newspaper blog readers, while 2006 of that same month saw about 3.8 million. Newspapers are also increasingly calling on their staff to do more blogging, says the Reuters news agency.
“As Web 2.0 becomes a predominant online consumer model, traditional publishers are adopting interactive forums like blogs,” said Carolyn Creekmore, Nielsen’s senior media analytics director in a statement. “It makes perfect sense for online newspapers, where responding to a blog posting is like writing an instant letter to the editor.”
Nielsen also reported that the newspaper blog audience increasingly skews male, with a 66 — 34% male-to-female ratio as of December 2006.
“Men tend to be both early adopters of new technologies and avid consumers of news,” added Creekmore. However, she expects to see women begin to make up a larger part of newspaper blog readership as they take a more active role on the Internet.