Media houses had complained bitterly when the National Readership Survey Council (NRSC) released the NRS 2006 on August 29, 2006. Publishers pointed out various anomalies in the data. Subsequent meetings between the NRSC and members from the industry have finally borne fruit and vindicated some sections of the media as NRSC has released a revised CD now with some significant corrections, and admitting the errors.
Immediately after the meeting that took place on September 13, 2006, NRSC’s Kedarnath Sharma had admitted that some flaws had been identified and that these would be addressed in due course. Following this, in a letter sent to its subscribers now, NRSC has said: “After the release of NRS 2006 CD on August 29, 2006, we have identified certain minor errors, which had unfortunately crept in. These errors did not affect readership estimates at publication level or state level.”
Among the list of corrections is that of Nai Dunia and Dainik Nai Dunia which, “due to masthead confusion faced coding errors”, and have “now been corrected.”
To get an idea of the data discrepancies and the effect on publication level and state level, the total readership of Nai Dunia in NRS 2005 was 765,000. In the original NRS 2006 it came to 723,000, and in the revised CD it is 1,107,000. As for Dainik Nai Dunia, the paper was at 3,32,000 in NRS 2005, came to 8,28,000 in NRS 2006, and now has gone to 433,000 in NRS 2006 Revised!
As exchange4media readers would recall, another point raised strongly by the publishers were the inconsistencies in the population figures of various markets. NRSC has now admitted as much saying: “Population of Ghaziabad, Moradabad and Bariely were wrongly presented due to a programming bug, have been corrected; Rural population of Tripura, Meghalaya and one village class of Yamunanagar district (Haryana) have been corrected and in Chandigarh, Kerala and Durg – Bhilai, some data were not given projection factor, which have been corrected hence the display of sample size will show an increase.”
In addition to this, the letter from NRSC says: “In Ahmedabad, Chennai and Hyderabad and Mumbai Metros, some records had wrong districts codes, which have been corrected; frequency of reading data in Kerala due to punching errors columns were shifted. This has been corrected.” The final correction includes “Illiterates claiming to read publication and languages read with understanding and wrongly claimed to read the publication have been corrected. FM radio listeners claim to listen, where station is not being transmitted have been rectified.”
Even as the NRSC has issued corrections, it is still wait and watch to see whether the data users are satisfied or more issues will subsequently be raised.