Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
June 2010

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This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Follow Verified on Faceook and Twitter
Website Editors Strive To Rein In Nasty Comments
Events Calendar
Small Business To Increase Traditional and Online Marketing
Tips & Techniques: Print/Digital Hybrid Subscriptions

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Physician's WeeklyPhysician's Weekly Practice Edition
Physician's Weekly Surgery Edition
Physician's Weekly General Edition
Physician's Weekly Emergency Edition
PRIMED Patient Education Center
Psychiatry Weekly
Physician's Weekly

Basking Ridge, NJ
Physician's Weekly is a one-page medical news publication. Each poster-sized issue is displayed in an attractive nonglare, Plexiglass-covered, wooden-framed display case positioned on walls of physician traffic areas within qualifying practices, departments and hospitals.


ABA Banking Journal

ABA Banking Journal

Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp.
New York, NY
ABA Banking Journal is the official journal of the American Bankers Association, reporting on the banking industry.


Railway Track & Structures

Railway Track & Structures

Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp.
New York, NY
Railway Track & Structures reports on the maintenance-of-way and engineering equipment practices of the railway industry.

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  • June 2010 Quarterly Printing and Distribution (QPD) report is due by July 15th.

  • RemindersQuarterly Route Lists are due for all publications with Target circulation of 7,500 or more by July 15th.

  • Audit materials for publications with a June ending period should be assembled and sent to Verified by August 31st. Audit materials include the audit workbook, subscriber list and supporting documentation.


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Website Editors Strive To Rein In Nasty Comments

No More Nasty CommentsIt's easy to lose your temper on the Internet. Anyone who reads — or writes — comments on blogs and news sites knows that the conversation can quickly stray from civil discourse to scathing personal attacks. For years, many websites just let users go at it, and free speech reigned. But now editors are rethinking just how open their sites should be.

Many people who want to participate in online discussions are quickly turned off by the nastiness. Miki Hsu Leavey, a resident of Napa, Calif., wrote a heartfelt, thankful letter to her local paper, The Napa Valley Register, after the health care bill passed. In the letter, she described her own struggle with lupus, her son's difficulties getting insurance owing to his pre-existing heart condition, and her husband's liver cancer diagnosis.

"My thank you note was really about the relief I had mentally," says Leavey.

When Leavey looked at the site the morning her letter was published, she was shocked at many of the comments.

"Oh, my poor baby is sick only the great Obama can save him," wrote one sarcastic reader. "Makes me sick just reading it."

Leavey couldn't believe how personal the attacks were. "I guess I wrote a personal story so maybe that's what I asked for," she says. "I just didn't think people would say what they said."

We Might Have Predicted This ...
Researchers who study human behavior say it was predictable that it would turn out this way. Clifford Nass, a communications professor at Stanford University, says when you have an environment where thousands of people are vying for attention, people know intuitively that it's the nasty stuff that jumps out.

"Ironically and tragically, if you want people to respond to what you say, say something outrageously negative," says Nass.

There are still plenty of sites out there that encourage this kind of dialogue, says Scott Rosenberg, author of Say Anything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters.

"What they really wanted was to boost traffic on their websites," says Rosenberg, "because the more pages that are viewed, the more ads can be sold."

But, he also believes many sites were simply naive and bought into the early open zeitgeist of the Web.

"Many media companies simply opened the doors to their websites and said: 'Anybody come post whatever you want' and expected that they would have brilliant conversations and exchanges of ideas."

Now that sites are discovering that openness doesn't necessarily translate into meaningful conversations, they are starting to change and adapt.

Religion Dispatches, a site that features long-form articles by scholars and academics, had an angry funder on its hands when offensive comments were posted on an article by an expert on Islam. Religion Dispatches has a drastic solution: It is getting rid of comments. Readers have to send a letter or e-mail to the editor, and only the best letters get published.

Editor Lisa Webster says the goal is to cultivate a site that's more like The New York Review of Books, where the letters are often as interesting as the articles. Webster suspects that the site may lose some traffic initially, but she's "hoping it will be sort of a dip of the roller coaster ... and then it'll tick back up eventually once people discover how fascinating the letter section really is."

'A Valuable Reader Exchange'
Other sites are taking a different approach — they want to keep that fast-paced reader response and clean up the comments. At the San Diego Union Tribune, site content director Tom Mallory says he's seen the benefits of open comments.

Recently, the Tribune posted a headline on the site that angered users. It was about a man who was murdered by young men who were spray painting a wall. "The headline unfortunately referred to 'graffiti artists,' which made it seem that they were van Gogh with a spray can," Mallory explains.

Overnight, while no one at the Union Tribune was watching, commenters accused the paper of having a agenda.

When Mallory came in the next morning, he considered the users' comments, and decided that he agreed with them: "I said that's a good point; I'll fix the headline."

Then Mallory began to have a dialogue with the readers. "It was a valuable reader exchange," he says. "I'm glad it happened."

He realized that having someone on the staff be part of the conversation could change the tone. Unfortunately, he says, they don't always have the staff available. So the Union Tribune — and many other sites in similar circumstances — are using software to help out.

"With software you can ban certain words and phrases," Mallory explains.

Mallory thinks that letting commenters be anonymous can also be problematic. The Union Tribune is using software called Disqus, which lets the staff track users, keep a record of their comments — and then ban them if necessary. The makers of Disqus say that their two-year-old product is now being used by 350,000 sites.

'The Human Touch'
Lila King, a senior producer at, doesn't think that forcing commenters to reveal their identity is going to resolve the problem. She says CNN has always checked that the e-mails or comments belong to real people. She thinks the only real solution is to have a real, live human being curate and participate in the discussion.

"Really, it's the human touch," she says. "It's actually staying inside the conversation and being active and highlighting comments that we think editorially are really interesting or significant. Set the tone for what you hope the conversation will be."

King thinks if you reward people for thoughtful comments, the site will be more likely to get more of them — and fewer of the hateful sort of comments that were posted on Leavey's health care letter.

Leavey says she didn't mind that people disagreed with her letter — she just wanted the conversation to be more civil.

"I think it would be wonderful if we could challenge people who really disagree to have a really great conversation about it," Leavey says.

If all of these changes, both technical and personal, can manage to raise the level of discussion, many site editors are hoping more people will feel comfortable wading into the conversation — instead of just looking on as it explodes.

Source: NPR, May 27, 2010

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Events Calendar

Event CalendarNational Press Photographers Association Convergence 10
July 8 – 10, 2010
Charleston, SC

National Society of Newspaper Columnists 34th Annual Conference
July 9 – 11, 2010
Bloomington, IN

Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Annual Convention
July 15 – 17, 2010
Toronto, ON

West Texas Press Association 80th Annual Convention
July 15 – 17, 2010
Odessa, TX

Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association Summer Conference
July 15 – 17, 2010
Salem, OR

Yale Publishing Course
July 18 – 23, 2010
New Haven, CT

Magazine Mobile Imperative Part III
July 21, 2010
New York, NY

Native American Journalists Association
July 21 – 24, 2010
St. Paul, MN

Independent Free Papers of America Revenue Summit
July 30 – 31, 2010
Minneapolis, MN

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information

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Small Business To Increase Traditional and Online Marketing

FedEx Office third annual Signs of the Times national small business surveyAccording to the FedEx Office third annual Signs of the Times national small business survey, small business owners are eager to lead the charge out of the country's protracted recession, with 72% saying they will be the driving force behind the U.S. economic recovery in 2010. 51% of the small business owners polled say their businesses have already, or will fully, recover by the end of this year.

This optimism is a marked improvement over the survey's findings last year, when 54% of respondents indicated they were very concerned about the economy's impact on their business. Eighteen percent of small businesses are considering an increased budget for staffing and HR activities in 2010, up from just 9% last year.

This study also found that 42% of those polled are considering increasing spending on marketing and advertising initiatives in 2010, and 30% say they may increase spending on sales initiatives. Both actions are specifically aimed at boosting customer traffic and revenues.

Randy Scarborough, Vice President of Marketing for FedEx Office, says "Small businesses are...identifying and investing in the tools that will help them bounce back — print ads, direct mail campaigns, online marketing programs and a social media presence [to] maximize their budgets...connecting effectively with new and existing customers."

Underscoring small business owners' firm belief in the value of traditional and online marketing and advertising:

  • In 2008, before the recession was fully felt throughout the marketplace, 41% of those polled were considering increasing spending on marketing and advertising initiatives.
  • In 2009, with the recession in full swing, 44% of small business owners reported considering a budget increase in that same area.
  • This survey shows that 34% made cuts to their marketing and advertising spend last year, and 31% say that decision had a negative/extremely negative impact on their business results.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents report that printed marketing/advertising tools are somewhat to very effective at driving customers to businesses, and 61% believe traditional marketing/advertising methods are more effective than web-based counterparts at bringing in customers.

Forty-four percent of small business owners plan to grow business in 2010 by increasing communication with existing and potential customers via printed materials like newsletters and direct mailings. These entrepreneurs are also actively leveraging other traditional marketing/advertising tools such as:

  • Brochures (43%)
  • Yellow Pages listings (39%)
  • Flyers and signs/banners/posters (37% each)
  • Newspaper advertisements (32%)

The small business owners putting the most emphasis in this area may be younger than most would expect. Small business owners in the 18–34-year-old age range are greater proponents of signs, banners and/or posters (51% for 18–34 vs. 36% for 55+) and flyers/brochures (57% for 18–34 vs. 47% for 55+) as cost-effective marketing/advertising tools than older owners.

Forty-six percent of respondents have plans to grow business in 2010 by improving their company's online presence, while another 36% plan to utilize social media/networking websites to build business.

With many small businesses planning to enhance their marketing and advertising efforts across the board this year:
64% say their marketing and advertising materials are, at best, only somewhat consistent in terms of brand, messaging and overall design.

Twenty-three percent of small business owners can't invest in improving these materials due to budget restraints.

Thirteen percent find that they spend more than they should because they don't have the time or resources to find cost-saving deals.


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Tips & Techniques: Print/Digital Hybrid Subscriptions

A hybrid subscription is defined as one wherein the copies are delivered in both print and digital formats. Hybrid subscriptions can either be voluntary or forced.

Voluntary Hybrid
A voluntary hybrid subscription is defined as a print/digital subscription wherein the subscriber voluntarily pays a separate rate to receive the replica digital edition along with the print edition. The subscriber must pay a minimum of one cent to receive the replica digital edition. Both print and digital copies may qualify as paid circulation.

Sample offer:

  • Yes, please start weekly home delivery of The Chronicle for just $50.00 per year.
  • Receive online access to The Chronicle for just $5.00 more. That's seven days a week for just $55.00!

To qualify the replica digital edition as paid circulation, the publisher must maintain records to demonstrate that the subscriber paid for, registered and activated the digital component of their hybrid subscription.

Forced Hybrid
A forced hybrid subscription is defined as a print/digital subscription wherein the only offer available to the subscriber includes a replica digital edition along with the print edition. The subscriber does not have to pay additional money to receive the replica digital edition. Both print and digital copies may qualify as paid circulation.

Sample offer:

  • Yes, please start my weekend home delivery of The Chronicle for just $50.00 per year and receive online access to The Chronicle Monday through Friday. That's seven days a week for one low price!

To qualify the replica digital edition as paid, the publisher must maintain records to demonstrate that the subscriber paid for a subscription, registered and activated the digital component of the hybrid subscription.

If a publisher publishes both a print and replica digital edition for the same issue date, and a subscriber has access to the replica digital edition but doesn't pay a separate rate to receive the digital edition, either the print or replica digital edition may be counted as qualified paid circulation, but not both.

A digital edition published on a day/week/month in which a print edition is not published does not have to be a replica of the print edition. However, it must have the same general content, appearance and focus as the print edition when it is published.

Publishers who publish only a digital edition on a certain day/week/month and only a print edition on others will have the same frequency as those who publish print editions only. For example, a newspaper that publishes a print edition three days a week and a digital edition four days a week will be considered a daily newspaper. The publication frequency will be determined by the total number of issues published, not whether the published issue is print or digital.

If you have any questions regarding print/digital hybrid subscriptions, please call Verified at 415-461-6006.

Please send comments and story ideas to or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 295
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6007 fax

2010 Verified Audit Circulation.