The Newspaper Association of America reported last month that Newspaper Web Sites are an increasingly successful and popular means of user-level access to current events. These sites attracted over 68.3 million unique visitors on average (41.4 percent of all Internet users) in the third quarter of 2008, a 15.8 percent increase over the same period in 2007, according to Nielsen Online for the NAA. In addition, newspaper Web site visitors generated an average of just over 3.5 billion page views per month throughout the quarter, more than 25 percent over the same period a year ago (2.8 billion page views). These figures are the highest for any quarter since NAA began tracking the data in 2004. Economy and presidential campaign news draw audiences to the sites of trusted newspapers, if they provide "comprehensive, up-to-the-minute reporting and analysis on the events that impact their lives,” said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm.

Other Q3 records were set for active reach percentage (the percentage of active Internet users that visit newspapers in an average month), page views, pages per person, time  per person and visits per person. Given the data, it is likely that users are visiting several times throughout the day.

According to PRweb , four of the top five news and current events web sites with the most growth in unique users this year were newspapers, says public relations trainer Sally Falkow. Thanks to the robustness of newspaper Web site audience levels, advertising income in this sector can be more reliable. That is of course, welcome news in comparison to many other advertising markets' abysmal projections.

Online editions of newspapers were until recently poorly received, as they were constructed hastily and without consideration of the audience's actual needs. "Simply put, these sites failed because they did not inform their readers first and foremost." Multimedia features including video and interactivity will encourage continuing growth and multiple daily visits.