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Global Search for Truth Finds UK Media Sites

It's interesting to note that as bloggers raise questions regarding the reporting within a BBC documentary about the potential dangers of Wi-Fi radiation, comScore reported that in April 2007 many of the U.K.'s largest traditional media sites attracted more visitors from overseas than from within the U.K.

comScore data revealed that online visitors from outside the U.K. outnumbered the domestic audience in the case of The BBC (more than 60 percent are international), The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Mirror and The Financial Times.

The Financial Times had the highest percentage of international visitors, with 85 percent of its audience originating from outside the U.K.

Five.TV, ITV, BSkyB, and Channel 4 were the only four top media properties whose U.K. audience was larger than their international audience.

"The Internet allows consumers to view relevant content at any site from anywhere in the world. It is therefore critical for publishers and advertisers to understand their global franchise -- not just their U.K. audience," commented Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.

"The Internet will always be a global medium, and audiences often follow interests more than national boundaries. Agencies need to be aware of this and realize that when they buy on UK sites they may also get an international audience. Research like this is enlightening because it makes people think about established media channels differently," said Dan Calladine, research director of Isobar.

As a British person living in the U.S. for many years, I've been intrigued by the common American perception that journalistic values seem to be superior in the UK. Perhaps this belief is founded upon observations regarding the decline of both the substance and quality in professional U.S. media coverage -- rather than an apparent increase in the UK.

In contrast, there's a growing consensus that U.S. amateur journalism is helping to fill the investigative void that was created by the absent voices of traditional big media. I wonder if, ironically, the same trend is apparent within the UK. Meaning, an assessment of journalistic caliber is both subjective and relative to one's current point of reference.

When I first came to America, I could never have imagined that there would come a day when Latin-American political leaders would mock the U.S. political system for repeat instances of blatant corruption. Nor would I have believed that a primary method of media checks-and-balances could reside with citizen journalists -- who fearlessly search for the truth, even when it offends their own national pride.

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