Fry versus recency

Date of publication: June 15, 1990

Author: Johnny Pedersen


The two syndicated readership survey services in Norway, run by MMI (Markeds- og Mediainstituttet) and Gallup (Norsk Gallup Institutt A/S), report readership figures for magazines which differ to some extent. Differing techniques are used to measure readership figures in these surveys: -1 MMI uses the Recency method by which one collects data by means of face-to-face interviews including visual aid and -2 Gallup uses the FRY technique which prescribes day-after telephone interviews. Theoretically, under identical conditions, the Recency and the FRY technique should give identical readership figures.However, this paper reveals that this is not the case. Differing definitions used can explain some of the discrepancies. Others are explained by the way the readership surveys have been carried out. The Recency method has some weaknesses one should try to avoid. At the same time the problems concerning response rate with face - to - face interviews must be solved. In Norwegian readership research this has been an unknown problem and therefore non-response has not been presented by MMI, but Gallup did it in 1989. The FRY - technique offers better opportunities for time-budgeting and multi-media research. This technique allows us to measure reading, listening and viewing activities simultaneously, and thereby under after the activities took place. Changes in the Norwegian media landscape, especially the coming of a new nationwide commercial television channel will require a new research design. This design will probably become operational all over buyer Europe. The FRY technique can be a solution. However, the technique is still not sufficiently developed.

Johnny Pedersen


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