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Introduction to the JNRS

The JNRS (Joint National Readership Survey) is a non-profit making joint industry research survey with 4 partners – national newspapers, regional newspapers,, advertising agencies and advertisers. The survey is commissioned through a Management Committee that arranges matters such as periodic reviews and tenders and the appointment of a contractor (currently Millward Brown). It also agrees policy on technical specifications, methodologies, analysis of data, publication and dissemination of results, as well as handling all queries relating to the survey.

The methodology used is face-to-face interviews on a random probability sample of approximately 7,000 interviews conducted continuously throughout the year, 7 days a week, at over 500 sampling points. The JNRS survey measures readership of newspapers including related newspaper magazines /specialist supplements that offer themselves as an advertising platform to the RoI market. The JNRS survey is designed to publish readership data for each subscribing title that has a unique masthead, provided that title achieves an Average Issue Readership (AIR) among a minimum of 140 respondents within the total survey sample.

The survey also collects data relating to readership of unique titles of regional newspapers. However the survey is not designed to measure or publish individual readership figures for each of these regional titles. Readership for subscribing regional titles published in the reports is in aggregate form only. While readership of regional titles that do not relate to subscribers may also be collected, analysis and publication is confined to subscriber titles.

The survey also collects and publishes data on product purchasing behaviour, usage of services and lifestyle attitudes of commercial relevance to JNRS users. This data is normally published in a separate volume of the report and is referred to as Special Interest Groups (SIG).

Survey results are published twice a year in August and February for the previous 12 months fieldwork ending June and December respectively. Reports are available in electronic format, (currently via Telmar Research Guru, Crosstab and Printplan)


All titles that satisfy the admission criteria are eligible for inclusion in the JNRS.

New Title

New applicants may enter the survey on either of two dates annually; January 1st or July 1st (for commencement of fieldwork) provided written applications are received 3 months prior to either datefor new main titles and 2 months for newspaper magazines / specialist supplements of titles already on the survey. Data for the new title will be published only on the basis of 12 months commencing at the next January 1st or July 1st start date.


Merged Title

In the event of a title being replaced or merged with an existing title, taking on a new name not already on the survey, it will be treated as a new title. It will be able to enter the survey at the next Jan 1st or July 1st and data will be published on the basis of 12 months fieldwork. No data for the previous title will be published


Name Change

In the event of a name change of a title already on the survey and where the publication remains substantially the same in terms of content, the name change on the questionnaire will be applied at the next available 2-month cycle. Readership data for the publication will be published in the next JNRS report with reference to the relevant changes in the introduction of the report. The cost for such a name change will be borne by the title concerned. Irrespective of the AIR achieved by new titles, their first 12 months’ results will be published with an asterix explaining that the title is a new entrant and with a health warning should the readership level fall below an acceptable minimum level of readership penetration

Regional Newspapers – It is important to emphasise that the JNRS survey sample size is designed to measure individual publication titles that are distributed nationally. It is not designed to measure any specific title that has a regionally localised distribution area that does not correspond with the 27 component regional stratification of the sample and/or subject to the corresponding regions/area breaks that are applied at the analysis stage. Therefore, in the event that a regional or other demographic booster sample is called for in order to satisfy specific separate collection or analysis requirements the costs will be borne by the publication(s) concerned. Comparable cost implications will also apply should any restructuring of the JNRS sample be required.

Out of respect for statistical error variance, in order to qualify for publication in the survey report each individual title (i.e. having a unique masthead) must achieve an average issue readership amongst a minimum of 140 respondents within the total sample (currently approximately 7,000). The application of this threshold for AIR is designed to minimise statistical error variance that would attach to the published results for a specific title. The error variance means that the AIR could move anywhere within a range from one survey report to another through sample size limitations, rather than as a consequence of market conditions.

Results in respect of existing member titles that fail to achieve the necessary minimum readership penetration (ie 140 respondents) will be published in a separate section of the report. Such results will be based on 24 month rolling average data provided that the unweighted base of the 24 month data exceeds 175 respondents in keeping with prudent research practice.


  1. The JNRS is open to newspapers specifically produced for the Irish market and whose circulation is not restricted. A title must (a) contain a minimum of 30% editorial material and 20% of this proportion must be produced for the Irish market and (b) be receptive to advertising placed by advertisers for that market so that it is enabled to be, or become, an advertising platform for the Republic of Ireland market.
  2. Each individual title (ie. having a unique masthead) must achieve an average issue readership amongst a minimum of 140 respondents within the total sample (currently approximately 7,000). Results in respect of titles included in the survey for the first time will be published with an asterix explaining that the title is a new entrant and with a health warning should the readership level fall below an acceptable minimum level of readership penetration.
  3. Published rate cards for the applicant title must be freely available to advertisers and agencies and there must be a dedicated commercial presence or representation – available during normal working hours - for the purpose of taking advertising for the applicant title.

Newspaper Magazines / Specialist Supplements

To be eligible to apply to the JNRS newspaper magazines / Specialist supplements must:

  1. Have a unique masthead (totally distinct from the main title  from the readers perspective)
  2. Be in continuous publication for at least 45 weeks a year (N.B average AIR is based on 52 weeks)
  3. Be distinct from the main newspaper in look, shape and size
  4. Target and appeal to a range of audiences, including specialist interests. 
  5. Open to advertising from the Irish market
  6. Contain at least 30%  editorial material

Note: Main title sections (news, news reviews, features, sport, business and property) are excluded from the above definition and are measured under the main title masthead.

Note: Newspaper Magazines / specialist supplements cover such topics as weekend review, farming, health, style, lifestyle, food, TV and travel.

  1. New applicants must agree to pay, in the manner determined by the JNRS Management Committee:
    • when admitted, the final annual fee plus an entry fee of the same amount as the main title in recognition of the investment made by existing subscribers in establishing the survey to its current status and to cover costs associated with processing the application including modifications to questionnaire and other set-up costs;
    • the costs of any pilot study (strictly not for publication), involving temporary inclusion in the JNRS for six months with the agreement of the JNRS Management Committee to ensure that criterion 2 is met;
    • the costs of any boosting of sample sizes required to measure the readership of the applicant title; and annual fees thereafter.
  2. In addition, all applicants must agree to pay their share of running costs as determined by the JNRS Management Committee. This may include management, administration, legal, publicity and other costs.
  3. Contracts must be signed six weeks before fieldwork commences and payment must be made in full within one month of commencement of fieldwork.
  4. Applicants must agree to abide by the survey rules, contractual arrangements and the Constitution of the JNRS Management Committee.



The full title is the Joint National Readership Survey Committee referred to as the JNRS Management Committee or the “Committee”.


To act on behalf of the Users and Subscribers in matters relating to the preparation and publication of research surveys into the readership of given publications in the Republic of Ireland.


The Members of the JNRS Management Committee shall be made up of representatives of the Users as follows: -

  • Four representatives of the National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI) (to include three representatives of the Irish titles and one representative of the UK titles in Ireland rotated between News International, The Mirror Group and Associated Newspapers).
  • One representative of the Association of Advertisers in Ireland (AAI).
  • One representative of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI).
  • One representative of the Periodical Publishers Association of Ireland (PPAI).
  • One representative of the Regional Newspapers represented by the RNPAI / Mediaforce.


  • The JNRS Management Committee shall appoint an independent Chairperson for a term of office no longer than a period of two years. The Chairperson will be eligible for re-election for further terms of office.
  • The functions of the Chairperson shall include chairing meetings of the Committee, ensuring that the Committee abides by this Constitution and any other functions assigned by this Constitution or by the Management Committee from time to time.
  • At meetings of the JNRS Management Committee and in the absence of the Chairperson, those present shall nominate a Chairperson to chair such a meeting.


The offices of Secretary and Treasurer shall be filled from the members of the JNRS Management Committee, each office for a period of two years. These officers shall have the functions assigned to them by the Committee from time to time.


  • Meetings shall be convened on the instructions of the Chairperson, giving at least one week’s notice in writing to all members, including the agenda, except where he considers that shorter notice is justified.
  • The Chairperson may be required to convene a meeting by the written request of any member.
  • In the event of any member representative being unable to attend any meeting of the JNRS Management Committee, the member may nominate a substitute.
  • The quorum for any meeting shall be four members of the JNRS Management Committee.
  • Minutes of each meeting shall be circulated to all members, within 14 days of such a meeting.
  • The Chairperson may invite representatives of individual Subscribers to attend a meeting of the JNRS Management Committee on an exceptional basis, for example where a Subscriber wishes to propose an amendment to this Constitution in accordance with Article 15.


  • It will be the normal practice of the JNRS Management Committee to conduct its business by consensus.
  • Each Member shall have the number of votes directly proportionate to his/her User’s contribution to the Survey.
  • No vote shall be taken unless the JNRS Management Committee has been given at least fourteen days’ notice of the proposal to be voted on. Such votes require the approval of Members from at least two Users in order to be carried.
  • Where a vote is required, decisions of the JNRS Management Committee will be by a majority of votes cast by those present and voting.
  • Any User who has more than one representative on the Committee may have all its votes cast by any one of its representatives.


The Subscribers are those titles that subscribe to the cost of the Survey and in relation to which readership data is published by the Survey. The JNRS Management Committee shall represent the Subscribers in accordance with the terms of Article 3. The Committee will also take account of the views of any Subscriber not represented by a User.

The Subscribers must: -

  • Agree to be bound by the terms of this Constitution and the fee(s) as may be set out by the Committee from time to time.
  • Have signed the approved Contract to carry out the Survey (“the Contract”) with the person who will carry out the Contract (“the Contractor”); and
  • Agree to be bound by any Guidelines that exist or may be issued from time to time by the JNRS Management Committee under Article 10 of this Constitution.
  • All Subscribers agree not to undertake any legal action against or seek damages or other redress from the JNRS Management Committee.
  • Legal or other expert representation on behalf of any Subscriber(s) is not permitted at meetings without the written consent of the Chairperson. If so granted on behalf of one party, any other party involved must be informed in advance of the meeting and given the right to similar representation.


A Subscriber’s entitlement to be included in the JNRS shall automatically cease: -

  • If a Subscriber Company or Title ceases to exist.
  • If the Subscriber, following due representation by the Contractor and supported by the JNRS Management Committee, fails to pay the appropriate Contract Fees to the Contractor in accordance with the timing, terms and conditions as laid down in the Contract.
  • If a Subscriber resigns, giving at least 3 months notice in writing to the Chairperson of the JNRS Management Committee.
  • If a Subscriber (in the case of an individual) becomes a bankrupt or in the case of any partnership that is a Subscriber a partner in the partnership becomes a bankrupt or in the case of a body corporate that is a subscriber the body corporate has had a receiver appointed over its assets, or has gone into liquidation or has been taken under the protection of the Court.
  • If the JNRS Management Committee following a notice of motion issued at 14 days notice resolves by a 2/3 majority of members present and voting to expel a Subscriber who has acted in violation of any condition of this Constitution or whose conduct is deemed to be prejudicial to the interests or good name of the industry or the JNRS.
  • In the event that a Subscriber ceases to be included in the JNRS pursuant to the provisions of Clause 9.a or otherwise, the unpaid balance of the Subscriber’s Contract Fees and any other fees required by the Contractor and/or the JNRS Management Committee in accordance with the terms hereof and due up to the expiry of the term of the then current Contract shall immediately become due and payable.
  • The Management Committee, through its Chairman, undertakes to contact all existing Subscribers during the final six months of the then current contract to outline the likely structures and costs of the new contract being formulated.
  • In the event that a Subscriber fails to pay the Contract Fees and other fees pursuant to Clause 9.b and legal avenues having been considered and pursued where deemed appropriate by the Contractor in consultation with the JNRS Management Committee, such fees shall be apportioned between and paid by the other Subscribers in such manner as the JNRS Management Committee shall in its absolute discretion determine and the Committee through its Chairman shall give such letter of comfort of other assurances as to payment by the other Subscribers as the Contractor may reasonably require.


The principal powers of the JNRS Management Committee shall be: -

  • To appoint a Contractor to carry out the Survey and ancillary activities.
  • To agree the fee for the Contractor and any subsequent revisions to it.
  • To set out the share of such fee(s) among the Subscribers.
  • To approve any modifications to any Contract as shall be agreed by mutual consent with the contractors.
  • To nominate, as required, those organisations/ persons who may purchase copies of the surveys in addition to the Subscribers as specified in the Contract(s) and to nominate the prices thereof.
  • To appoint such sub-committees as shall be needed from time to time.
  • To invite the Contractor and other third-parties to attend all or part of its meetings.
  • To issue guidelines.
  • In the case of a breach of this Constitution by a Subscriber, to terminate that Subscriber’s inclusion in the JNRS provided that two thirds of the JNRS Management Committee agree that such Subscriber should be so expelled.


  • The JNRS Management Committee will operate a bank account in its name and all financial transactions must be conducted through this account.
  • The JNRS Management Committee will appoint three of its representatives, any two of whom must co-sign all cheques and other financial transactions.
  • The three Committee representatives will be responsible for providing the Committee with half-yearly reports on the financial affairs of the JNRS Management Committee.


  • If any Subscriber feels that another Subscriber has made misleading statements deriving from, purporting to derive from, or which could be understood to derive from the Survey, he/she may make a complaint to the JNRS Management Committee.
  • The words ‘misleading statements’ in this context shall be taken to mean statements which are not supported by, or are in conflict with the data derived from the Survey or previous Surveys. It does not mean failure to make other statements which could also be supported by data.
  • All complaints shall be sent in writing to the Secretary of the JNRS Management Committee, who shall immediately refer them to the Technical Committee for investigation with all possible dispatch. Both parties must be given the opportunity to make submissions, either orally or in writing.
  • This procedure shall cover all forms of publication, including printed, advertising, electronic, facsimile and e-mail and promotional material.
  • The Technical Committee shall give its decision to the JNRS Management Committee for ratification.
  • If the complaint is upheld, the offending party may be required to publish an appropriate rectifying statement approved by the JNRS Management Committee.
  • The JNRS Management Committee shall also have power to promulgate the findings in whatever way it sees fit.
  • The JNRS Management Committee may constitute further rules of procedure for the hearing of complaints.
  • The JNRS Management Committee will at all times observe the rules of fair procedure and natural justice.


  • Complaints and disputes regarding the accuracy of the Contractor’s work should be dealt with between the complaining Subscriber and the Contractor.
  • A Subscriber may ask that the Technical Committee should provide the Management Committee with an opinion regarding any such complaint. The Technical Committee may refuse to do this.
  • The JNRS Management Committee may endorse or modify such an opinion by way of mediation but, failing a resolution of this, the Arbitration Clause in the Contract shall be invoked and the dispute shall be resolved by way of Arbitration by the parties who are a party to the Arbitration Clause (and if there is no such Arbitration Clause, the dispute shall be resolved by the parties to the Contract through the Courts or such other method of dispute resolution to be agreed between the parties to the Contract) and the matter will no longer be dealt with by the JNRS Management Committee.
  • Neither the Management Committee nor the Technical Committee shall be obliged to undertake any expenditure in the case of arriving at such an opinion.
  • Guidelines issued by the Committee pursuant to Article 8 c of this Constitution will apply in particular to this procedure.


  • A Technical Committee may be appointed for terms of two years by the JNRS Management Committee for the purposes of considering and reporting on such market research and allied activities as the JNRS Management Committee may ask it to do from time to time. If a Technical Committee is not so appointed the JNRS Management Committee will act as the Technical Committee.
  • The Technical Committee shall consist five members, the Chairperson of the JNRS Management Committee and four others, at least two of whom shall be chosen from the representatives in Article 3 of this Constitution. The Contractor shall normally attend Technical Committee meetings unless otherwise requested by the Secretary.
  • Minutes of the meetings of the Technical Committee meetings shall be circulated to all members of the JNRS Management Committee (other than to those persons or bodies who were asked not to attend such meetings).
  • Technical Committees shall report their recommendations to the JNRS Management Committee.


This Constitution may be amended if: -

  • The proposed amendment is circulated to all JNRS Management Committee members at least 21 days in advance of a meeting.
  • That it is proposed at that meeting by the Subscribers desiring the change and seconded by another Subscriber not of the same User.
  • That the amendment is carried by votes amounting to 2/3rds of the voting rights.

October 2007.