In a move that may quiet at least half of its critics, Nielsen Media Research has formed a partnership with Hispanic policy and research organization, the William C Velasquez Institute, to improve its measurement of US Latino television viewers.

Nielsen has come under fire for its new electronic method of measuring local TV viewing figures -- Local People Meter (LPM) technology.

According to critics such as the Don't Count Us Out Coalition, LPMs misrepresent black and Hispanic audiences. Nielsen claims otherwise, but the debate has become so heated that it even prompted a US Senate hearing [WAMN: 30-Jun-04].

Now, Nielsen's measurements will be carried out under the watchful eye of a team of nationally-renowned Latino social scientists, who will analyze design, sampling, recruitment and training of the system.

Nielsen's president and ceo Susan D Whiting is confident that the alliance will "greatly enhance Nielsen's ability to more accurately measure the television viewing behavior of a highly diverse and rapidly growing Latino community."

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff