Current Events Boost Traffic To Online Newspapers

  • by February 10, 2003
Nielsen//NetRatings latest data show that traffic from home to various Web newspapers soared, as reports of the Columbia shuttle tragedy and Iraq dominated the headlines for the week ending February 2nd.

Time.com, surged 112% to 863,000 surfers, claiming the No. 1 spot as the fastest growing news site for the week ending February 2nd. One of Time.com's most visited pages examined the Columbia shuttle crash and attracted more than 30% of the site's audience traffic. Following closely as the second fastest growing current events and global news site, MSN Slate jumped 101% to 953,000 unique visitors. Traffic to Newsday.com and Netscape News also increased by 58% and 52%, respectively. Rounding out the top 5 fastest growing new sites, CBS News grew 36% to 699,000 surfers.

"By delivering up-to-the-minute content along with supplemental information, the Web is a primary source of news for many Americans" said Carolyn Clark, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "In the past week, breaking news, such as the Columbia shuttle tragedy and the Iraq weapons inspections, have dominated the media coverage online and offline."

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Nielsen//NetRatings Top 10 Fastest Current Events & Global News Sites, Ranked by Percent Growth (U.S., Home)

+---------------------------+------------+------------+---------+
| Brand or Channel | 01/26 | 02/02 | Percent |
| | Unique | Unique | Growth |
| | Audience | Audience | |
| | (000) | (000) | |
+---------------------------+------------+------------+---------+
| Time Magazine | 407 | 863 | 112% |
| MSN Slate | 473 | 953 | 101% |
| Newsday | 244 | 385 | 58% |
| Netscape News | 472 | 719 | 52% |
| CBS News | 514 | 699 | 36% |
| CNN General News | 3008 | 4070 | 35% |
| MSNBC | 4256 | 5596 | 31% |
| Fox News | 637 | 826 | 30% |
| Hearst Newspapers Digital | 730 | 893 | 22% |
| Washingtonpost.com | 1039 | 1267 | 22% |
+---------------------------+------------+------------+---------+

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, February 2003
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