The number of people reading Internet blogs on the top 10 U.S. newspaper sites more than tripled in December from a year ago and accounted for a larger percentage of overall traffic to those sites, according to data released on Wednesday.
Unique visitors to blog sites affiliated with the largest Internet newspapers rose to 3.8 million in December 2006 from 1.2 million viewers a year earlier, tracking firm Nielsen//NetRatings said.
U.S. news organizations are increasingly calling on their reporters and editors to write news blogs and compete with the expanding Internet format for informal analysis and opinion.
It is one of several tactics they are using to keep readers who can choose from a flood of competing information sources on the Internet.
Blog pages accounted for 13 percent of overall visits to newspaper sites in that month, up from 4 percent a year earlier. Total visitors to the top newspaper sites rose 9 percent to 29.9 million.
About 60 percent of online newspaper readers were men, with the percentage rising to 66 percent of blog readers, Nielsen//NetRatings said.