The Readership Institute seeks to increase news readership. It conducts actionable research, field-testing
of readership-building ideas, and education and training for the news industry on readership-building best
The Institute's most significant studies are:
The Impact study (2000) surveyed more than 37,000 consumers in 100 daily U.S. newspapers to identify current content, service and management practices that got better overall readership results. The Power to Grow Readership summarizes its findings.
Experience study (2003) focused on the feelings, emotions,
and reactions that can increase or decrease daily newspaper readership. The 44 distinct newspaper-reading "experiences" identified in the study are described in the study's main paper, The Newspaper Experience Study.
Readers study (2004) looked at experiences
that cause different age groups - especially younger and more diverse
adults - to engage with the newspaper or discount it. It also identified
approaches that resonate with them. The concluding report, Reaching New Readers: Revolution not Evolution, urges newspapers to make drastic changes to its editorial, advertising and marketing approaches to capture younger and more diverse readers.
Tribune Experience study
(2005), conducted with the Star
Minneapolis, took all the content
and consumer findings from previous
research and put them into action
in a test with readers under 30. Reinventing the Newspaper for Young Adults describes how "editing for experience" can engage younger readers.
From 2002 to 2007, the Readership Institute partnered with the American Society of Newspaper Editors
to conduct dozens of regional workshops around the U.S. to teach newspaper employees to apply the finding of the Institute's research in their daily operations. In 2007 the Institute expanded these seminars to include increasing readership to newspaper websites based on experience research
it conducted with the Online Publishers Association
The Readership Institute is a division of the Media
at Northwestern University. It was founded in 1999 with the support of the Newspaper Association of America
and the McCormick Foundation