Space Ramblings

Are People Meters Racist?

Or to put it another way is a measuring system which decreases the rating for black and minority owned radio stations racist? It appears to be the position of some of the media that the very fact that the Arbitron people meter measurement system decreases minority measured share ratings is inherently racist. That’s a debatable position but it’s a debate that currently rests on insufficient data.

The real question is not whether Arbitron’s people meters are racist, but why minority radio stations have seen their numbers drop under Arbitron’s people meters. There are any number of explanations ranging from flaws in the paper diaries method to flaws in representing a variety of demographics in the people meters. There are a hundred possibilities but likely only one answer. The answer is doubtfully racism, but considering the sharp drops, it is an answer worth answering.

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