Deccan Chronicle robbed of its readers
The MRUC (Media Research Users Council) brags that it maintains standards of integrity, fairness and reliability in media research. Really? We doubt any of this is true.
At Deccan Chronicle, we have for long been disputing the so-called “fair” figures of newspaper readership they place in the public domain with “integrity”. We have sent them over the past, innumerable letters disputing their figures. They have never once deigned to offer clarification or accountability.
This year, in the manner of a child that fudges its marks to please its overbearing parents, they have outdone themselves. They have hived off 67 per cent of their last stated readership given to Deccan Chronicle.
Their own figures for the third quarter (Q3) of 2012-13 gave us an All India Readership (AIR) of 10,51,000. For Q4 2012-13, we were given an AIR of 10,24,000. And for 2013, the figure is, 3,37,000.
If you believe the MRUC, almost seven lakh of you have “disappeared”, simply vanished into thin air.
This laughable figure of 3,37,000 is said to be our readership, mind you, not circulation. This, according to MRUC, is the total number of readers all over India, not the number of copies printed at our presses across 13 centres.
In short, according to their reliability marker, we enjoy a collective circulation of a 1,00,000 all over the south in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Karimnagar, Nellore, Anantapur, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. Our Bellary edition is printed at Anantapur and Madurai and Trichy at Coimbatore.
So if you believe the MRUC, we, the leading paper in South India, are printing, on average, less than 10,000 copies a centre!
Calling MRUC grossly unfair is stating the obvious. Even going by their standards, where members who are on their council seem to be treated with favour and those who do not subscribe to them are shortchanged, they have touched a new low.
We strongly believe that they have deliberately chosen to release the ridiculous readership figures for Deccan Chronicle as we neither subscribe to what we see as blatantly false and secondly because we have been seeking accountability on how they arrive at their figures.
The Mumbai-based DNA newspaper, that has not even been considered for listing by the remarkable MRUC, has written them a polite mail asking them to check their subscription base and correct their “honest error”.
Saakshi, like DNA, has been off their list! The Hindu’s 30 per cent readership has melted away without a trace. So this time around, there are a lot many more voices questioning their methods and figures.
Honesty is not something one has ever got from this body, so Deccan Chronicle will see them in court where they can produce facts on which village they visited to survey if readers
were reading the urban, English language paper.
At Deccan Chronicle we are a nascent 75 and going through one of the most turbulent phases. The financial woes of the management have not impacted our paper’s circulation or ad revenue. Our readers and advertisers have chosen to support the paper through its triumphs and travails.
We owe it to them to set the record straight.