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About the Readership Institute

The Readership Institute is a division of the Media Management Center at Northwestern University. It focuses on actionable research, field-testing of readership-building ideas and measurement of their success, and education and training for the newspaper industry on readership-building best practices.

The Institute was formed after newspaper publishers and CEOs, meeting at a special readership summit convened by the Newspaper Association of America in February 1999, agreed to make a five-year commitment to a Readership Initiative and asked the Center to lead and coordinate it.

The Institute also has strong support and involvement from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Preliminary research that led to the readership summit was made possible by a grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation of Chicago.

The Institute's most significant studies to date are:

The Impact study (2000) identified current practices in a representative sample of newspapers that got better overall readership results.

The Newspaper Experience study (2003) identified feelings, emotions, and reactions that make people read their daily newspaper more, or read it less.

The New 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 Star Tribune Experience study (2005), conducted with the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, took all the content and consumer findings from previous research and put them into action in a test with readers under 30.

Additional Information

Research & Reports
This page has links to all of our published research and reports.

Readership Workshops
Speakers and teachers from the Institute are available for presentations, workshops, and seminars.

Contact Information & Staff Directory
Meet the Institute's staff and learn how to contact us.

Readership Listserv & Email Alerts
Join a listserv to discuss readership-building ideas or sign up to receive alerts of our new research.

Recommended Readings
Read more on readership-building topics, including change management, culture, and content analysis.

Other Online Resources
A guide to other Web sites and organizations involved in measuring or growing newspaper readership.


©2012 Readership Institute • 304 Fisk Hall • Northwestern University • 1845 Sheridan Road • Evanston, IL 60208-2110
phone: 847.491.9900 • fax: 847.491.5619 • email: