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British News Sites Get Third Of Readers From U.S.; Motivation For Crossing Atlantic

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It’s old data, but this new research study from City University, London, online journalism researcher Neil Thurman is the first to illustrate why British news organizations are courting U.S. readers. We recently reported The Guardian is launching dedicated American news and comment websites, Times Online is using search engine optimization to reach Americans, while The Independent and Daily Mail get more visits from across the Atlantic than from at home. Combining stats and interviews circa 2005, Thurman shows why the publishers decided to monetize across the Atlantic:

Some 36 percent of traffic to U.K. news sites comes from the U.S.

— Americans may visit U.K. news sites in large numbers, but they don’t do much when they get there – while domestic at international users view an average 12 pages per month at British news sites, Americans see just four.

— While BBC News, Guardian Unlimited and The Times receive the most US users, proportionately has far more American readers than rivals (73 percent against second-place on 42 percent) because it has comparatively so few domestic users overall.

— Thank Drudge. Amongst a clutch of “unlikely dependencies”, The Drudge Report is the biggest single referrer of U.S. traffic to U.K. news sites at 25 percent, with Fark coming second at three percent. In fact, Drudge refers more than three times as many people to U.K. news sites as Google does, the study claims, and also more than Google News and Yahoo News.

— Liberally-slanted stories covering U.S. politics do well at U.K. sites, underpinning what Guardian Unlimited has frequently said about a dearth of “liberal opinion” in the States. In this respect, Guardian and do well.

— While most U.K. newspapers were keen on monetizing these U.S. readers, Associated New Media’s editorial director Avril Williams responded:

15 Responses to “British News Sites Get Third Of Readers From U.S.; Motivation For Crossing Atlantic”

  1. Loonesta

    Definitely true, Drudge Report does have many links to UK web sites; however those are far too often usually the property of Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp, or did you think that no one noticed that? And that's "D-R-U-D-G-E" not "Drugde" as spelled in the above post by Mr Andrews…

  2. Wrath of Claude

    Many Americans view Drudge and Fark on a daily if not multiple times per day basis. Both sites feature interesting and often outrageous and bizarre stories. Fark viewers mostly follow links to UK sites because a story is uniquely weird. Drudge viewers do so for the same reason but often times will follow a link to a UK site because the story represents the outrageous excesses of Leftist slanting Britain. Drudge viewers read those stories as harbingers of the horrors America possibly faces if we too slide down the slippery slope towards Socialism.

  3. Reddaddie

    The "Liberal" in Britain is way far left, the "conservative" in America is centrist, the conservative in Britain is left, and the "main stream" in America is left. So, we come to the Liberal British press to see where our leftist politicians have us heading … Police on electric-stand up tricycles … preteens on drunken out of control binges for a year or more before anyone does something meaningful … five year olds getting tagged as sexual harassers … you get the picture.

  4. Red Greene

    What I want is a different opinion on what American news sources are telling me. I read British and Canadian news sources for their views, so that I can make my own mind about the issues important to me.

  5. S. the Clown

    "Americans complain about American liberal media bias + Americans read mainly liberal UK news stories = undermines assumption of American liberal bias" is, I think, a logical fallacy.

    Did anyone at stop to consider that it's more than likely liberal Americans who seek news and viewpoints from outside the country? With a conservative government where secrecy and buzz words pass as news updates, it seems much more probable that people who want the "real" news (liberals, perhaps, who don't trust American news sources) will turn to English-language sources outside of the country for a dose of perspective.

    Incidentally, Fark referred me to this page.

  6. Ameliaus Kyle

    au contraire, folks, not only is your perception of thinking people not being 'liberal', or that few americans are thinking people (or whatever your criteria of the slanderous term: liberal), but often they eschew labels altogether, and decide on issues separately.
    I think it is that the shock – of both the bush elections and the 911 fiascoes – is wearing off, people's minds are clearing and many are realizing that we can indeed lose all that America stands for if we don't pay attention and get involved.
    And that requires gathering information from many sources, and digging deeper into many 'news stories', instead of being fed it by TV news or some random opinionated talk-show person.
    Change isn't about factions; at least quality, lasting change isn't partisan.
    Us VS Them is a bad model, and the flow of news readers to across the atlantic is both a testimony to respect of the source and disgruntlement with standard sources in America.
    Inquiring minds do want to know. Bear in mind the stats for the above article are more than a year old.
    Fark in particular scoops major news sources. Britain is 5-9 hours ahead of the US, and most online sources renew at midnight. So BBC, the Sun, the Guardian, etc can be a heads up on the details that are only a line at the bottom of even major papers in America…..Plus, local Fark people submit stuff they've seen either locally or on their special interest sources, often days before it reaches mainstream.
    Think freely people, pay attention

  7. Larry Jones

    Clearly one of the reasons why many American's click through to UK websites is that we love football, not the maxi-padded armoured wankball version, but real football and in our zeal to follow the best league in the world, we regularly click through to UK news sites.

  8. ButrBiscut

    Actually Ottodog, at the end of the day Fark readers don't care if it leans one way or another politcally, they care if the material is humorous, outrageous, entertaining or, at the end of the day, newsworthy in the first place (most often it's not).

  9. Ottodog

    "– Liberally-slanted stories covering U.S. politics do well at U.K. sites, underpinning what Guardian Unlimited has frequently said about a dearth of “liberal opinion” in the States. In this respect, Guardian and do well. "

    How far off-mark can you possibly be? The reason Drudge & Fark link Guardian and Independent articles is to express incredulity at the liberal viewpoints expressed therein, not to extoll them.