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Star Tribune corrects self on MPR reporting

The newspaper understated public radio web traffic by a factor of 17.
By David Brauer

Shaping up like MPR day in this corner …

On Monday, several of us questioned the web-traffic numbers in the Star Tribune’s story on Minnesota Public Radio. The paper reported that MPR and MinnPost were “neck and neck,” with MPR having 251,000 page views and 67,000 unique users, according to Nielsen NetView.

I can tell you, that shocked even those of us on the Hometown Team: we’re plucky, but were we really matching the public-radio behemoth’s much-promoted web site?

Sure enough, the Strib corrected itself Wednesday: “Minnesota.publicradio.org averages about 4.3 million page views a month and 180,670 unique users a month, based on Nielsen’s NetView service.”

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Page-view-wise, they were only off by a factor of 17 — and no, I don’t think any anti-MPR conspiracy was afoot, even though board chair Mike Sweeney ripped Bill Kling’s operation in print and at Monday’s Future of News forum. Mistakes happen, as my regular readers know, and corrections are no fun.

For what it’s worth, our guys assert our Nielsen stats are low, too, but not that low. We’re currently at about 820,000 monthly page views and 233,000 unique users, according to Google Analytics. Page view-wise, that’s not close to MPR, and Google Analytics is not Nielsen. Still, I’d encourage our side to vet our Nielsens too, even though we don’t subcribe to the service.