Measuring Newspaper Readership: A Qualitative Variable Approach, International Journal on Media Management
Newspaper readership is usually measured by a single variable such as frequency of use, amount of use, etc. This article argues that readership cannot be fully described by a single measure and suggests treating it as a latent variable reflecting the time, frequency, and completeness of readership on both Sundays and weekdays. This study uses data from 101 newspaper markets in the US. The latent variable can be either quantitative or qualitative. Factor analysis is used to define the quantitative variable and latent class analysis, the qualitative variable. The relationship between the approaches is studied with principal components analysis, profiling, and hierarchical linear models. The two approaches are shown to produce complementary conclusions when relating readership to demographics and content interests. Media consumption studies can examine both qualitative and quantitative latent variables and thereby enhance the interpretability and the scope of the results.
Bobby Calder, Edward Malthouse
Calder, Bobby, and Edward Malthouse. 2002. Measuring Newspaper Readership: A Qualitative Variable Approach. International Journal on Media Management. 4(4): 248-260.