We are what we read

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Friday July 10, 2009 in Reporter.web.review

Statistics from compete.com .

Washington - Reporter.Web.Review 1.2: We are what we read

The inaugural (1.0) edition of this review looked at the most popular Armenian themes online. This edition will go beyond general-interest subjects, like popular music and computer games, and will examine a more politically and professionally sensitive subject: Where do English-speaking (and -reading) people get Armenian news online?

Starting where most Internet users do, at Google.com, and typing "Armenian news," as I just did, the top three results you see are the aggregator PanArmenian.net of Yerevan, Asbarez.com of Glendale, and the website for the Armenian government's Armenpress news agency. They are followed by a link to Google's own very popular news site that amalgamates news from news sources all over the world.

It is not surprising that according to Compete.com, a leading Internet traffic monitoring website, the top three Google search results for "Armenian news" are also some of more frequently visited Armenian websites among Internet users in the United States. (The site does not measure international traffic.)

According to the latest data, the following are the most popular Armenian news sources in the United States by the average number of monthly unique visitors they have attracted so far this year (in 1,000s):

Site

1st half of 2009

2nd half of 2008 (rank)

Change

PanArmenian (Yerevan)

5.5

5.6 (2)

- 0.1

Asbarez (Glendale)

5.0

3.5 (3)

+1.5

A1+ (Yerevan)

4.7

2.9 (4)

+1.8

Armenian Weekly (Watertown)

4.3

1.4 (8)

+2.9

Armenian Reporter (Yerevan)

4.0

2.0 (7)

+2.0

Armenia Now (Yerevan)

3.6

6.3 (1)

- 2.7

Armtown (Chicago)

2.8

2.6 (5)

+0.2

Azad Hye (Dubai)

2.8

0.9 (10)

+1.9

RFE/RL-Armenian (Prague)

2.7

2.5 (6)

+0.2

Armenian Public Radio (Yerevan)

1.9

1.1 (9)

+0.8

The data is limited to U.S. traffic only and to news sources with top-level website names; therefore the popular Groong News Service that combines Armenian news from various sources and is hosted on the USC.edu domain could not be measured.

As the table shows, most top sites gained readers in the last six months. This newspaper has done rather well since launching regular its new website last September (and our Watertown, Mass., colleagues have been doing even better).

But overall readership is quite modest even by comparison to other regional news sources. One of the leading Turkish news sites, Hurriyet, got an average of 90,000 unique U.S. visitors a month so far this year on the Compete.com scale; and Azerbaijan's Trend news agency scored about 7,500 hits a month.

Reflecting the confrontation with Russia (and also possible hacking attempts) the number of unique visitors to the Civil Georgia news site peaked at more than 18,000 last August. But a subsequent sharp drop in interest in Georgia brought the number of visitors to less than 2,000 a month this year.

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20-year-old Azat Asoyan was close to concluding his 2-year service when he was killed by hostile fire on July 31; Asoyan is one of 18 Armenian servicemen killed in combat incidents so far this year. Photo via Azat Asoyan facebook page

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