Checking internet news in Japan


How often do you read online news sites? graph of japanese statisticsA bit of a straightforward (read: rather dull) survey today, reported on by and conducted by Marsh into news sites.


Between the 26th and 30th of June 2008 300 members of the Marsh monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was exactly 50:50 male and female, 20.0% in their twenties, 20.0% in their thirties, 20.0% in their forties, 20.0% in their fifties, and 20.0% aged sixty or older. Presumably teenagers were judged not sufficiently interested in news to bother asking…

In Q1 it might be surprising to western readers that there is not a separate category for television station-related news, as we have the BBC, CNN, and MSNBC, to name just a few high-profile television-related news sites. In Japan, two issues are that most of the television stations are owned by newspaper groups anyway, and their news tends to expire very quickly. In addition, portal sites are favoured by such a vast margin not just because everyone uses Yahoo! for everything, but also that few newspapers put more than a few paragraphs per story online anyway, so by reading the newswires through a portal one doesn’t really miss out on anything.

Research results

First, when asked where they obtained their news and other information from, all 300 people said from the internet, 280 people television, 163 newspapers, 57 from mobile phone-based news sources, 36 radio, and 30 people from magazines.

Q1: What kinds of sites do you obtain news from? (Sample size=300, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
Portal site 260 86.7%
Newspaper-related site 84 28.0%
Specific topic-related news sites 71 23.7%
Other 10 3.3%

Next, people were asked which news sites they read. Yahoo! was the overwhelming winner with 78.7% of the sample using it. For newspaper-related sites, top was Nikkei Net at 29.3%, next was Yomiuri Online at 28.3%, at 28.3% also, at 19.0% (which may drop due to the fallout from the WaiWai scandal/storm in a teacup), Sankei Shimbun at 12.3%, and so on.

Q2: How often do you read online news sites? (Sample size=300)

Once every three hours or more 11.0%
About once every six hours 13.3%
About twice a day 24.7%
About once a day 39.0%
Several times a week 9.0%
About once a week 1.3%
About once a month 1.3%
Less than that 0.3%

Q3: At what times do you check online news sites? (Sample size=300, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
After returning home, after evening meal 134 43.7%
Just before bed 118 39.3%
Lunchtime or other breaks 98 32.7%
Before leaving for work, school 66 22.0%
After returning home, before evening meal 62 20.7%
At work, school 52 17.3%
Commuting to work, school 37 12.3%
While returning home 26 8.7%
After returning home, during evening meal 15 5.0%
When news (headline summary, RSS, etc) gets delivered to me 8 2.7%
Other 14 4.7%
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