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1/5 of Web Users Prefer Online News

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Nearly one-fifth of Web users who read newspapers now prefer online to offline editions, according to a new study from Internet audience measurement company Nielsen//NetRatings.

The first-time study from Nielsen//NetRatings found that 21 percent of those Web users now primarily use online versions of newspapers, while 72 percent still read print editions.
The remaining 7 percent split their time between online and offline editions. Comparable historic statistics were not available.

"A significant percentage of newspaper readers have transferred their preference from print to online editions," said Nielsen//NetRatings senior media analyst Gerry Davidson.

The statistics reflect a broad trend in the newspaper publishing industry. U.S. newspaper circulation has been falling as audiences increasingly turn to the Internet for news.

In response to the increased traffic to news sites, online editions of newspapers often now include frequent news updates, original content, message boards and editorial blogs.

The online edition of the New York Times Co.'s flagship paper, www.NYTimes.com, is the most visited U.S. newspaper site. USATODAY.com had the second-biggest online reach.

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